Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Becasse, Sydney [Closed]

We tried to arrange a dinner at Becasse, they told us that they are fully booked for the night. They will call us if there is a table available. Unfortunately, there is no return phone call.
While we are heading to Darling Harbour to look for alternatives, we walked past Becasse. Miss S suggested to go in and check out whether they have any table available. They have a table in front of the kitchen. This is actually quite entertaining, we get to see all the action in the kitchen.
Various Bread
The bread rolls are served warm and each of us get 3 different kinds. I must say I love their solidified olive oil with black salt. (One side note, don't leave them for too long and it will turn to be like a hard rock!)
Amuse Bouche
The amuse bouche is a very refreshing start and looking forward what will come up next.
Salad of Marinated Heirloom Vegetables
The first dish is a salad dish which gives a sourly tangy favour and opens up your appetite.
Marinated Yellowfin Tuna and Shaved Organic Wagyu Beef
The wagyu beef here is not similar to the one which melted in your mouth. The consomme also has a slight tangy favour to it.
Confit Miso Blue-Eye and Smoked Scallop
The smoked scallop and the sauteed cuttlefish are my favourite from this dish. The crunchiness of the celery balanced out the smoky favour.
Roast Palmers Island Mulloway
The Mulloway is a little disappointed where it has a bit of the fishy taste. After I have taken the skin out, the meat tastes fine on its own.
Caramelised Suckling Pig and Braised Pork Tail
I am looking for the braised pork tail. They have cleverly made it doesn't look like a tail.
Pot-Roasted Shoulder and Fillet of Riverina Lamb
The lamb just melts in your mouth! The best part is the sauce which goes really well with the lamb.
As Miss J not a big fan of beetroot, she requested to change the pre-dessert to something else. It is an ice based with passionfruit and coconut. 
The texture of the beetroot is like marshmallow. The grapefruit granita has a bit of the bitterness taste to it. Your mouth will have an interesting experience to scoop them in one spoonful.
Zokoko 70% Bolivia Chocolate and Caramel Cadeau
The chocolate dome is so shiny! It is also smooth and not too sweet. 
Banana Creme Brulee
I am amaze with the presentation of the creme brulee. As I am not a big fan of banana, I didn't have a taste of it.

What a lucky day, what an experience! 

Reading from an article that Becasse will soon relocate to another location... looking forward to have dine at the new location.

204 Clarence Street
Sydney NSW
(02) 9283 3440

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Old Thanh Huong Restaurant, Marrickville

Old Thanh Huong is my favourite restaurant during my university time. It is one of the restaurant which opens till late at night as well as close to university. Being a student, I prefer to have something quick and cheap. Of course it has to nice as well. ;)
Combination Beef Pho
The first thing which come to mind for Vietnamese food is Pho. This time I had the combination beef pho. Their soup has a strong beef favour, just love their soup. You can just slip the noodle into your throat. 
Beef Salad
Another favourite of mine is their beef salad. The semi-cooked beef with mint, basil, cucumber, tomato and lettuce. The tangy dressing made is a good choice for this hot summer day. Not to mention it comes with prawn crackers... may be this is the whole reason why I love this dish so much! :p
Grilled Chicken Banh Hoi
Banh hoi is my other choice if I do not want soup noodle. It is similar to salad type of noodle. Their banh hoi today stuck together and it needs skill to separate them. 
Banh Xeo
Their special banh xeo is a savory pancake which is filled with bean sprouts and meat. The crepe is very thin and crispy. This can be a very messy dish. You will wrap it with lettuce and dip into fish sauce and the fillings can fly off everywhere!

A recent re-visit to this restaurant brings back a lot of memory of the good old days. I am so glad that I am still being contacted with most of my university friends, despite some are working overseas.

Old Thanh Huong Restaurant
356 Illawarra Road
(02) 9558 0863

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March into Merivale - Bistrode CBD

We, foodie group, march into another Merivale restaurant, Bistrode CBD. We chose this for its relax environment. Since it is located at level 1, above the pub, CBD Bar, we have to climb a very interesting flight of staircase.
March into Merivale - Bistrode CBD
We scan through the daily changes menu and saw very interesting ingredients which they use. We chose an entree with crispy pig ears. They have thinly sliced the ears and I cant really see it is the ears. The ears make the salad more crunchy.
Black Sausage, Boiled Egg, Bacon and Crispy Pig Ears Salad
They served generous portion of the smoked salmon. It also thickly sliced. 
Smoked Salmon
When I saw lamb shank, without second thought, this is my main. I love lamb shank... just miss it so much! The meat just fall of the bone and it is so tender and rich in taste. The silky smooth potato puree soaking all the jus. I have almost licked the dish! 
Lamb Shank
Another interesting ingredient veal tongue. It likes silverside to me.
Veal Tongue
The other choice for the March into Merivale event is salmon and fennel salad.
Salmon and Fennel Salad
We always finish off with desserts, how can we miss them this time? Originally we want to order "Three Ices and a Madeleine". When we found out it is just three different type of sorbet, we change it to chilled fig and port soup. 
Chilled Fig and Port Soup
I had some worst experience with peanut butter sorbet before. Their peanut butter ice cream is nicely done and doesn't feel like as if you are eating out of the jar. The honey tart is not as sweet as I thought. The texture is really like soft honey. 
Honey Tart with Peanut Butter Ice Cream
When we saw a lot of glasses with lots of berries on top has been ordered by other tables, we cant stop ourselves from ordering one of them. This is by far the best dessert out of the previous two we ordered. It has a level of pink champagne jelly, custard, crumble and topped with varieties of berries.
Berry and Pink Champagne Jelly, and Oats Crumble
From our earlier experience, we look for alternate way to go down to the ground level. The alternate way is to catch a lift. It is not any better than the staircase! :p

March into Merivale is a special event which runs from 22nd February to 15th April.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bird Cow Fish, Surry Hills

I walked pass Bird Cow Fish a few times already but never had a chance to dine there. Finally today I woke up early to have brunch there.
Buttermilk Pancakes

Confit of Duck Salad
Since it is a hot day, I didn't have a lot of dishes. I am sure I will go back for more!

Bird Cow Fish
Shop 4 & 5
500 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW
(02) 9380 4489

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tai Ping Koon Restaurant (太平館餐廳), Central, Hong Kong

While I am in Hong Kong, my family organised a reunion dinner. Since it is around Christmas, we would like to have Western food over Chinese food but with a bit of Chinese influence. Here we are at Tai Ping Koon Restaurant (太平館餐廳), which was found in 1860.
Menu with Background
Tai Ping Koon Restaurant is famous for its Swiss sauce chicken wings, baked Portuguese style chicken and roasted pigeon. I have been curious why does the sauce is called Swiss sauce. The menu has a bit of the explanation. Back in the early time, the waiters can speak limited English. When the patron asked what kind of sauce did they make these chicken wings, they said "Swiss" soy sauce, which is supposed to be "sweet" soy sauce. This is how the name Swiss sauce chicken wings has started.
Fluffy Soft Bread Roll
Enough of the background lesson, we should go back to decide what we should have? A lot of their famous dishes are included in their banquet menu, which included bread roll, entree, main, rice, dessert and tea or coffee. We can also order a la carte. Since the banquet included all the chef recommendation, each of us order different main... Christmas dinner, Banquet for Two and the standard banquet with different main.
Fruit Punch
Fruit punch is my favourite drink when I was young. May be I was allow to drink it once in a long while?
Borscht (羅宋湯)
The borscht uses tomato paste instead of beetroots with beef and lots of different veggies. Other soups which come with the banquet.
Birdnest Soup (燕窩湯)
Having birdnest soup... will I become more beautiful? hahahaha... Birdnest is basically tasteless. The chicken soup base is the main favour of this soup.
Prawn Soup (海龍皇湯)
The signature dishes come...
Swiss Sauce Chicken Wings
Roasted Young Pigeon
Baked Crab Meat in Shell
Roasted Leg of Pork

Baked Quail
All the dishes seems to be using the same dark soy sauce. But the taste of each dish is different. The level of sweetness and saltiness are different. The chef must correctly labelled each sauce is used for which dish. :p
Baked Portuguese Style Chicken
I wonder if I go to Portugal, can I find this dish? :p I would already know this answer. I am quite amaze how they can think of all these names where these places do not have these dishes, such Singaporean fried noodles, Mexican bread?
Beef Stroganoff
The beef stroganoff has been modified. But my Dad told me it is like this since he can remember. 
Baked Souffle
We finish off the meal with their famous Baked Souffle. We first thought it is about a bowl size souffle which can be easier share among us. But... when it arrives... it is bigger than my face! We are struggling to finish it all.
Ice Coffee

It was a great reunion dinner. I wonder when can we all sit down together to dine again? Happy to see everyone is very satisfying with a full stomach!!! :D

Tai Ping Koon Restaurant (太平館餐廳)
60 Stanley Street
Hong Kong

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March into Merivale - Mad Cow

We, foodies group, marched into another Merivale restaurant, Mad Cow. I haven't eaten there since it has been awarded by 2011 SMH Good Guide Awards for one hat.
Soy and Linseed or Sourdough
We shared jamon entree as highly recommended by my other foodie friend, Something Fi-shy. The jamon tastes great with the Chandon shiraz which comes with the $33 deal. The stuffed capsicum with salt cod is too little share among us!
Jamon with Rosemary Oil
Tonight they do not have wagyu flank steak, instead they have grass fed scotch fillet. You can still see the layer of oil. Umm... not sure if it is good for my waistline? :p It is cooked to medium rare and it is really tender and moist.
Grass Fed Scotch Fillet
The other meat dish is the black angus minute fillet steak. The butter has further enhanced the beef favour. But it is a bit too much at the end.
Black Angus Minute Fillet Steak
If you are not into steak, they also have two other choices, king salmon or vegetable bisteeya. The king salmon skin is still crispy after our photo session! :p 
Aroaki King Salmon Fillet
It also comes with two sides, green salad and shoestring fries. May be I haven't had fries for a long time, it goes really well with my steaks.
Green Salad
Shoestring Fries
We have ordered desserts to finish it off. The chocolate decadence is definitely for any chocolate lovers. The strong rich chocolate sorbet is the highlight of it!
Chocolate Decadence
The espresso martini is for us, coffee lovers. The coffee cardamon granita makes it very refreshing and light, yum yum!
Espresso Martini
Since Mad Cow is at the end of the Ivy Bar, we have to maneuver ourselves out of this place. We should instead stay there for the rest of the night! :D

March into Merivale runs between 21 February 2011 to 15 April 2011