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restaurant review

Churrasco in Coogee

Reviews August 26, 2012


I’ve only ever had the opportunity to have Brazilian barbecue once before in the city and unfortunately it wasn’t the most fantastic experience.

Admittedly, it was a cheap deal, but the meat was tough and flavourless and the sides were nothing to write home about. My opinion on churras, however has done a complete 180 since visiting Churrasco in Coogee and I cannot wait to go back!!

For $44.00 a head for the quantity and absolute quality of the food, Churrasco in Coogee is a great deal.

This price includes unlimited meat and the wide selection of side dishes included on the menu so you can eat until you are absolutely stuffed to the brim (which I pretty much guarantee will happen). The food is just so delicious and perfectly cooked that you will eat and eat and eat until.. well you get to that ‘I just might die from food explosion’ stage. Don’t be like me. It’s probably not a good idea to get that far. Haha.


Love the seating – this setting would be great for parties!

Upon arriving, we notice everyone has a small circular tag on each place setting. “Yes, Please!” keeps the food a’comin, whereas “No thanks” brings the feast to a temporary halt (which becomes neccessary!)


Side sauces to accompany all the delicious meat. The meat was all so flavoursome that we actually did not need the sauces very much at all, which was a shame as they sounded great.


Minas Colada ($16)
The Brazilian version of the Pina Colada. Coconut cream, pineapple and gold cachaca.


Watermelon Daiquiri ($16)
Brazilian daiquiri infused with cachaca, lime and watermelon. I got a virgin version of this – it was delicious and super refreshing.


Virgin Strawberry Mohito ($16)


Not sure which drink this was – I believe it was a lychee and strawberry mocktail?


Chicken sausages, pork chorizo and chicken thigh in brazilian sauce


Honey soy chicken thigh – this was one of my favourites of the night. The honey soy flavour was perfectly complemented by the smokiness that penetrated all of the BBQed meats from the night. Sooooooooo good!


Chicken wrapped in bacon.


One of my fave side dishes of the night: roasted potatoes in a creamy sauce.


DEEP FRIED BANANA. Need I say any more? I heard someone saying this was like a banana doughnut – couldn’t come up with a better description!


Yes, those are vegetables. /shock horror


Super cute little delicious cheesy bread puff of amazingness.


Parmesan beef.


The dish I was waiting for aaaall night and it was so worth it. Beef ribs – absolutely fantastic. I was getting soo full at this point but so glad I tried it – the meat was unbelievably tender and had so much flavour. You have to try this!


Grilled pineapple – super sweet and sour at the same time. Nice and cleansing to help clear out all that meatiness, but I could barely eat more than a bite by this stage!


Pork belly. I didn’t try this, but it was apparently amazingly crackly!

Now, onto desserts! Since this restaurant specialised in amazing BBQed meat, we were quite pleasantly surprised at the very high quality of the desserts offered at Churrasco Sydney! They were all quite a generous serve that could easily be shared between two (especially after such a huge meal!) and well priced at $10.50 a pop.


Banoffi Tart ($10.50)
Dulce du Leche, fresh banana with creme chantilly and chocolate sauce. I tried a tiny sliver of this (not exactly sure how I fitted it in!). It’s hard to go past a classic like banoffi tart and they did a great job of this. If I had more room, I would have enjoyed gobbling this one up!


Churros ($10.50)
With dulce du leche and Vanilla Ice Cream.
These were absolutely superb! My dinner date was Chilean, and her mum makes fantastic home made churros – and she said these were on par with her mum’s. Pretty high stakes! I didn’t have as much experience with churros as her, but still loved the crispy exterior and the pillowy warm insides, all drizzled with the sweet dulce du leche. The vanilla ice-cream was a welcome addition to help cut through the sweetness of the caramel.


BBQ Bananas ($10.50)
Served with ice-cream and baileys/butterscotch sauce. I didn’t try this one but it looked sublime!

A few more shots from the night:

Was lovely to meet Lola from Figs and Brie (big fan of her blog!)


As well as sugarpuffi, food_religion and many more!

The $44 menu at Churrasco Sydney includes the following:

Beef
Rump cap rubbed with rock salt
Baby beef with Churrasco BBQ sauce
Sirloin crusted with pepper & spices
Beef ribs that have been cooked for 8 hours
Beef with parmesan sauce
Beef with mild chilli sauce
Beef with mushroom and bacon sauce

Chicken
Chicken thigh wrapped in bacon
Chicken thigh in Brazilian sauce
Chicken drumsticks in honey/soy sauce
Chicken wings marinated in chilli
Chicken hearts
Chicken sausages

Lamb
Lamb rump marinated in lemon and oregano
Lamb shoulder with chimmichurri

Pork
Pork belly with sea salt and fresh lime
Pork leg with green chilli sauce and fresh herbs
Ham glazed with orange & seeded mustard
Pork chorizo

Side dishes
Roasted potatoes
BBQ Cheese
Cheese bread (AMAZING)
BBQ Zucchini
BBQ Capsicum
Slow roasted eggplant
Creamy Parmesan Polenta
Churrasco Salad
Iceberg Lettuce salad
Rocket & Parmesan salad w/ Balsamic
Tomato & Palmito Salad
BBQ Pineapple
Fried Banana (absolutely fantastic – tasted like a cinnamony doughnut with banana inside.)

Sauces (to dip your meats in – although they’re almost not necessary due to the intensely flavourful meats!)
Chimmichurri
Herbs and spices blended with garlic
Tomato salsa with olive oil and vinegar
Green chilli sauce

My fave dishes of the night that I highly recommend include the beef ribs, the honey soy chicken thigh and scotch fillet (didn’t get a good shot of this.. but sooo tender!). Fave side dishes were the marinated barbecued eggplant, baked potatoes, the DEEP FRIED BANANA (SO GOOD!), cheesy bread puffs and of course the grilled pineapple. As for dessert, who could go past those dreamy churros??

If you love endless perfectly cooked meats with delicious side dishes, are looking for a fun date night, or a great place for a birthday – Churrasco Sydney is for you! As well as their main menu, Churrasco Sydney also have a fantastic selection of cocktails and desserts and are very accomodating at making their cocktails into mocktails if you’re driving or don’t drink – super handy!

Cookingcrusade.com dined as a guest of SweatyBetty PR.

Churrasco Sydney
240 Coogee Bay Road
Coogee, NSW

Phone: 02 9665 6535

Click here to see the Churrasco Sydney website. (Unfortunately it is currently being updated, but you are able to see the addresses of all locations, make a reservation, make an enquiry and like them on Facebook).

Churrasco Coogee on Urbanspoon

Peace and love! x
Christine

22 Comments

Dinner by Heston

Reviews July 30, 2012

On my recent two week holiday to Italy, I was lucky enough to have a day trip to London. I didn’t have much time at all, but I couldn’t resist booking a table for lunch for myself at Dinner by Heston. After all the rave reviews and its recent appointment at number 9 on the top 50 restaurants in the world for 2012, who could say no to a quick lunch there after visiting Oxford Road for some touristy shopping? Not me, that’s for sure!

So, extremely sleep deprived from the looong flight and stopover from Hong Kong from Sydney, I marched (albeit, slightly woozily) towards the Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park.

I was seated with an absolutely gorgeous view of Hyde Park and ordered myself a watermelon cucumber mocktail.



Red Cumber, £6.50
It was a lovely cooling and refreshing pick me up.

Dinner by Heston has a set lunch menu for the very reasonable price of £32.

But I was interested in sampling some of the other menu items this time around. But this is a great budget option for those wanting to sample Heston’s delights.


Munching on delicious sourdough and salted butter while perusing the menu. The creamy, salted butter was the perfect temperature to spread on the tasty sourdough.


Broth of Lamb (c.1730) £14.50
Slow cooked hen’s egg, celery, radish, turnip & veal sweetbreads
From The Complete Practical Cook by Charles Carter (1730)
The star of this dish for me was definitely the veal sweetbreads – warm and crisp with a delicious meatiness that adds a real substance to the dish. It is followed closely by the gorgeously slow cooked hen’s egg (these are a real fave of mine!) which adds a rich silky flavour to the broth which is well complemented by the crispness of the vegetables.


Special of the day – Beef Royal £32.00
Braised beef short rib with carrots and (i think?) pureed parsnips
This was deliciously rich and tender and full of flavour and just melted in your mouth.


Triple Cooked Chips (side dish) £4.50
Of course I couldn’t resist ordering some of Heston’s famous triple cooked chips!


Ice-cream made at your table! 


He poured in a vanilla creme anglais and within seconds.. it was icecream! Just like magic!!!


Scooping that creamy ice cream into cones.


Dipping the cone into different flavours.


The final product!


Final touch to the meal – a complimentary milk chocolate ganache with a biscuitty accompaniment – gave the meal a sweet finish!


Staff hard at work!

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch at Dinner by Heston – Heston has done a fantastic job creating an exciting new menu with some old favourites available – a must visit for his many fans. I particularly liked how affordable it was for a restaurant of its ranking, giving everyone no excuse not to give this one a try! Stunning views of Hyde Park, beautiful ambience and of course, wonderful service from the staff. I would love to return again someday… 

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal on Urbanspoon

33 Comments

Eastern City Chinese Restaurant

Reviews October 24, 2011

Do you guys have a family favourite Chinese restaurant? I think everyone has one. Its kind of a tradition, isn’t it?

I’ve been going to the Golden Singapura since I was knee high to a grass hopper. A family fave, we still occasionally frequent this place, although I have to admit, less frequently in the recent years, mostly because my Mum is less of a fan of takeaway foods these days. (She’s become a staunch vegan in the last year or so.)

Ever since I started dating my fiance, we discovered a new place close to his family’s home which has quickly become a favourite. Even though it’s not close to his place or mine, whenever we visit his family, we love visiting this place!

I still remember the first time I ever visited Eastern City Chinese restaurant – we were with some friends from Mike’s church who frequently there and after that first time, we were hooked. We had many Sunday night dinners which quickly through the years turned into countless family and birthday dinners.

Oh Eastern City Chinese restaurant, I heart you!

Here are some recent pics of a yummy dinner there recently 🙂 Pics are a teensy bit dark, sorry bout that peeps!

Honey chicken

Peking Style Beef Strips – Amazing! We order this every time we come..

Mike’s brother’s fave, Mongolian Lamb

Salt and pepper tofu

The chef always makes these amazing little carrot carvings with the dishes – so much detail!!

Who could forget dessert?
Deep fried ice cream with caramel sauce

Vanilla Ice Cream with Lychees

My absolute fave dishes have to be:
Peking style beef strips
Sweet and sour fish
Pan fried snake beans (we generally ask for these without pork, but they do come with them by default)

Eastern City Chinese restaurant is located at:
7 Hillcrest Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120
Phone number: (02) 9875 1411

Eastern City Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

They’re also a stone’s throw from the Pennant Hills Train Station if you’re traveling by public transport and as a side note, they also do takeaway! 🙂

If you’re in the area, definitely give this one a try!

xoxo
Christine

16 Comments

Bilsons

Reviews July 21, 2011

I know. This post is waaay overdue. I actually went to Bilsons eight months ago. but I feel like it would be a waste of the pics and the dinner if I didn’t at least blog about what was a truly fabulous dinner! Since Tony Bilson taught Tetsuya Wakuda how to cook, my friends and I heavily anticipated Bilson’s restaurant as we figured that his food would be nothing short of epic, and, I’m happy to say that we were right!

note:
I’m still learning my way around my camera (esp. eight months ago!) so pls. forgive me for the less than stellar pics 🙂

We arrived at Bilson’s on a Saturday night that we had booked in advance. After we were seated, it wasn’t long before the magic began 🙂

We started with some fancy cheese sticks to start;
fancy cheese sticks
Then came sourdough with salted butter
sourdough
Honestly is there anything better than fresh bread (especially sourdough) with butter? mmm.

My alternate amuse bouche (cos of the no eating shellfish/pork thing)
amuse bouche
The regular amuse bouche, pea and ham soup

Gazpacho soup that was separated and reintegrated at the table. haha. reintegrated. whenever i see that word, it makes me think of a sci fi for some reason..

One of the best dishes of the night, olive oil cured salmon with goats’ cheese, basil seeds and volcanic salt. the salmon was meltingly tender and the sauces had a wonderful flavour. my friends and i agreed that the sauces were what made the food at Bilsons so special.


Another winner – crispy skinned fish with the most amazing buttery sauce in the world + lobster foam

Mine came without the lobster foam. My friends and I (somewhat) shamefully (are you meant to do this at fancy restaurants?) mopped up the amazing sauce with the sourdough… It was so good that there was no room for regret.

Then came the lamb.. anyone who knows me probably realises that i have a love affair with all things lamb related.. this was the deboned rack of lamb with pureed garlic, aubergine parmiggiana, hollowed out cucumber with a tomato salad and a red wine reduction. getting so full at this point, but the lamb was velvety tender, mm.

A quick shot of a mint/peach palate cleanser that was fruity and refreshing before dessert

Our dessert, the petit sucre (“little sugar” in French) was peach themed.
Dessert was chocolate sauce with pureed peach, with a grilled peach slice, dehydrated peach slice, lavender marshmallow, chocolate mousse and a crispy chocolate square. This was lovely with the peach flavours. The mousse tasted almost like a brownie; it was quite dense and very chocolatey. The crispy chocolate square was amazing – i have no idea how they made it but it tasted wonderfully caramelised so that it was almost smokey.. and the lavender marshmallow also gave this dessert a hint of freshness, just lovely 🙂

The petit fours, little almond cakes and chocolate orange macarons (which reminded me strongly of jaffas. but in a really really delicious way!)

I was excited cos I got to wear my new dress for the first time 🙂

Summary:
Bilsons was a lovely night out for dinner. Gorgeous food, beautiful service lovely setting – what more can you ask for? (Well, except maybe for a discount. Haha.) I would definitely recommend it for a romantic dinner or out with some friends for a special occasion. I really enjoyed my time here and would love to go again sometime soon.

You can grab three different kinds of degustation at Bilsons;
Petit menu (7 courses) @ $145 AUD per person [$215 AUD with matching wines]
Grand menu (9 courses) @ $195 AUD per person [$290 AUD with matching wines]
These both come with vegetarian degustation as an option as well. Also, my friends shared the matching wines between them and each got a half glass of wine (which was a pretty decent amount) with each course. Bilsons were more than happy to accomodate them for this.
Ultimate degustation menu (15 courses!!) @ $280 AUD per person [or $395 AUD with matching wines]

Hope y’all are surviving this weather!

Peace and love!!
xx
Christine

Bilsons: 27 O’Connell Street Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 8214 0496
Open Tue-Thu,Sat 6pm-10pm; Fri 12pm-2:30pm, 6pm-10pm
Click here for the Bilsons website
Click here for the Bilsons eatability link

Bilson's on Urbanspoon

11 Comments

Megalong Valley Tea Rooms

Reviews March 11, 2011

After a lovely time of apple picking, my friends and I thought the day would not be complete without some afternoon tea. On the recommendation of Jordy’s brother, we headed towards Megalong Valley Tea Rooms for some soup, pie, warm scones and tea ; and it was total perfection 🙂

Brekky menu (sadly we were there too late, but it sounded great!)

Kira and I ask about the soup of the day. Today it’s Split Pea and Ham, Potato and Leek and Pumpkin. After careful deliberation, we both order the pumpkin soup. Jordy orders a steak (made with locally grown “Megalong” beef) and onion pie. For tea, I get my ole fave, peppermint and Jordy tries the Russian Caravan, which is a blend of lapsang souchong with assam black tea. He says it is delicious. We also order some scones, which come with home made blackberry jam and freshly whipped cream.

Jordy with his Russian Caravan (..tea. Sadly not a real Russian Caravan. That would be awesome.)

My peppermint tea.

The pumpkin soup comes deliciously hot with creamy sour cream and butter melting calorifically into the soup. They also sprinkled some coriander leaves on which adds a lovely kick. I loove my coriander. The soup comes with warm bread rolls and butter for $9.50 each.

Jordan’s steak and onion pie. This looks wonderful – with crisp pastry that surounds melt-in-your-mouth beef – that is clearly not mince, but a gorgeous cut of beef that is cooked to perfection and falls to pieces. I drool over it but I am content with my creamy soup and warm crusty, buttered bread. Honestly, is there anything better when you’re super-hungry, than a piece of warm crusty bread with butter? Noooo sir.

The home made pies at Megalong Valley Tea Rooms are $9.50 each and also come in steak and kidney, chicken and mushroom, creamy cheese, onion and garden sage.

Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for… the scones. Or should I say, The Scones.

They come out warm with home made jam and softly whipped cream. I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but I have a hugeee weakness for scones, especially fresh, warm scones. The combination of cream, jam and scone is something purely magical. Scones from Megalong valley tea rooms are $9.00 for three scones with jam and cream.

According to history (and a info card I found at the tea rooms), Christine Bundy has been making the scones at Megalong Valley Tea Rooms to her grandmother’s recipe to this day. I’m glad she hasn’t changed anything, cos her granny was doing a top job.

We sat outside and had a pretty magnificent view of the bushland.

The Megalong Valley Tea Rooms are located on Megalong Rd in Megalong Valley, NSW. For more details, photos, menu, history and more, you can check out their website by clicking here.

4 Comments
pav-2

Chez Maurice et Linda

Uncategorized March 2, 2011

A fellow foodie friend of mine told me about this French restaurant that she had heard good things about. For $50 for three courses (well, $51.50 to be exact), I was sold. Of course I always have the pathetic excuse of “At least it’s good to blog about.”

I still remember the first French restaurant I ever went to. It was in high school, I think I must have been about 14 or so, in my year eight French class, when our class was taken on an excursion to taste French food in Darling Harbor. Actually I don’t remember the name of the place.. What I mostly remember was shuddering at the garlic snails on the entree menu. People keep telling me you don’t really taste them and its really “All about the garlic butter”, but… uh. No thanks. I think i’ll just stick to garlic bread – a far simpler way (in my opinion) to consume garlic butter.

We enter the restaurant and I instantly know that its going to result in dark photos. One of the worst things about dining in nice restaurants, I’ve found, is that they’re all dim and ‘romantically’ lit, which is nice when you’re dining with a significant other, but not when you’re a food blogger! It results in taking a bit longer to get that good photo, and I always feel guilty about making my friends wait for their food to be photographed. Although I am a little amused that whenever I eat out with anyone now, they always wait patiently (and automatically) for me to take my food pics – even pushing their dishes towards me so I can get a better angle. Aw, thanks you guys 🙂 Anyway, some of these pics are a liittle bit dark. Soz!

I browse the menu and am excited by mentions of french onion soup, goats cheese, roast rack of lamb. The words “creamy mushroom sauce” is seductively inviting. The dessert menu is even better. Crêpes flambées au grand Marnier, crème brûlée, chocolate mousse and profiteroles.. heaven.

While we are making our choice, we are served pâté with toasts.

When I was a bit younger, I used to think of pâté as a ‘bit gross.’ But I have certainly changed my mind, all for the better. This pâté is rich and creamy and goes perfectly with the crisp toast. We wish for more toast, but don’t want to fill up, so we load up the last piece of toast with a decent smear of pâté and watch regretfully as it is taken away.

I choose the deep fried mushrooms with tartare sauce for my entree and my friend Ghilaine chooses the week special, deep fried camembert with raspberry sauce. I was very tempted by the French onion soup, but I’ve never had deep fried mushrooms and thought I’d go with the new experience. Ghilaine picks the camembert with a smile, saying “I can’t resist deep fried cheese.” Amen, sister.

The camembert is a lovely balance of creamy and crispy. The raspberry sauce adds a nice touch of sweetness, although it tastes exactly like raspberry jam.

The mushrooms are breaded and then deep fried – something I’ve never seen before at any restaurant. They are quite good, but extremely filling. The tartare sauce adds a nice dimension of lightness to the richness of the mushrooms, but I am struggling to finish them.

Ghilaine orders the braised duck in orange and Grand Marnier sauce. I taste a little and the duck imparts a strong orange flavour and the meat is well braised – it falls to pieces quite easily (this is a good thing). I have to say that I did prefer my main to the duck though.

I find it difficult to go past lamb of any kind as a main dish. I just can’t resist lamb with a pink centre – plus I find it difficult to recreate at home, so this usually makes an easy choice for me. The lamb is served with a cheese and garlic mashed potato and what tastes like a balsamic or red wine reduction. It is delicious and perfectly cooked, but after the mushrooms, I really struggle with this. I can only finish two of the cutlets – sad, but I’m practically dying by the end of it!

We are also served a side dish of vegetables, again, which we found difficult to get into. I’m afraid we barely finished it at all, but the green beans were garlicky and tender and amazing. The crispy potatoes are also a nice addition.

Finally, we get to the best part — Dessert.

Ghilaine is feeling pretty full by this point, so she opts for the (slightly) lighter option of the pavlova (Meringue, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and strawberries on a raspberry coulis). I can’t go to a French restaurant and not order crème brûlée, which was once one of my favourite desserts for many years. When my bf and I were first dating, I would go visit him at his work in St. Leonards and we would go to cafes to share a crème brûlée at a nearby restaurant.. Good times :).  I love watching the scene in Amélie, where she describes the pleasure she gets from cracking the toffee on the crème brûlée with a spoon – I feel exactly the same way. I love that movie! Just listening to the sound track or playing the music on the piano gives me such a lovely feeling of calm 🙂

My crème brûlée cracks delightfully with a sharp crack with my spoon, revealing the creamy vanilla custard underneath. I savour every spoonful.

Ghilaine’s dessert comes, surprisingly, in the shape of pretty swan! I loved the presentation of her dish. It was a scoop of icecream, surrounded with piped, freshly whipped cream and then meringue shaped to look like wings a head/beak. I was very impressed.

Finally we are finished. With groaning tummies that are full of delicious French food, we drag ourselves back to our car/scooter and drive ourselves home. I sleep easily and dream of French food 🙂

Chez Maurice et Linda is at 292 Sydney Road Balgowlah 2093 and you can make reservations on (02) 9949 4155.

Wonderful value for delicious French food – two courses for $43.50 or three for $51.50. I think next time if I come back, I’ll opt for two courses with a partner and we can share entree and dessert – three courses each was quite large for two girls.

Enjoy!

xx

Christine

Chez Maurice Et Linda on Urbanspoon

6 Comments

Etch

Uncategorized February 17, 2011

My gorgeous boyfriend surprised me by taking me out to Etch for dinner on Valentine’s Day. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Etch is a sister restaurant to Bécasse, since a good friend of mine and I have a booking to visit there next month.

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Etch was how beautiful this restaurant was. I pass a vase full of enormous silky-looking gorgeous black feathers on my way to our table. We are seated near an old fashioned fireplace in quite a spacious room with plenty of room for the waiters to move effusively between tables. I love the wallpaper near our table – flowery with a background of pale green, so delicately pretty.  Art covers all the walls. Everything is a mixture of old fashioned and modern – I love it!

For Valentine’s Day, Etch were serving a V-day tasting menu – 5 courses for $110 per head.

Before we begin, my boyfriend and I mention to our waiter that neither of us eat any shellfish (we don’t eat pork either, but saw no point in mentioning this as it didn’t make an appearance on the set menu.) The second course is seared yellow fin tuna with smoked Queensland scallop. The waiter said that we could either skip on the scallops or get an alternative vegetarian option or take one of each to share. We opted for the sharing option.

The first course was chilled sweet corn soup with iced basil and a spiced corn fritter.

The corn fritter comes skewered on a little bamboo skewer. M tastes it first. “This is sooo good,” he comments. Spurred on, I take a teensy bite… He is right. “Do we dunk it in the soup?” we wonder. It seems like the most logical step to do, so we do and it is wonderful. The crispy spiced fritter in the cool sweet corn soup is delightfully good and we are sad when it disappears in a few bites, but delight in drinking the rest of the soup which is wonderful as it is alone.

Our mocktails arrive. (Left) “Apple Beer” (Apples, lime and ginger beer) is my favourite of the evening. The crisp flavour of the ginger melds beautifully with the lime and apples. (Right) Grapes, cranberry, rosemary, lemonade. I could definitely taste the cranberry and lemonade in this, but not the rosemary. It is quite good, but the ginger mocktail is the real winner.

Second course arrives. I used to hate sashimi, but since Tetsuya’s, I have become a bit braver in trying raw fish. This was the seared yellow fin tuna with the smoked Queensland scallops, pickled radish, pea shoots with soy and mirin. You may remember that I requested no scallops, but unfortunately it seems as though there was a mixup in the kitchen and I ended up with scallops anyway (you can see them just above the radish). Not wanting to cause a fuss (and since I’m not allergic,) I just pushed it to the side of my plate and enjoyed the rest of the meal. This course was wonderful. The flavours of the soy and mirin really worked so amazingly beautifully with the fish and the radish and pea shoots were flavoured with something incredible that I couldn’t put my finger on – but I did not want to stop eating it! Really loved this dish. The lamb of the night was spectacularly good, but this was probably  my favourite dish of the evening.

When our waiter came to take our plates and he realised that I had been given scallops, he looked well, shocked. I have never seen a more horrified waiter. He muttered something about it being unacceptable and a short apology and stormed back to the kitchen. In a couple of minutes, another waiter was at our table apologising about it and explaining how seriously they took allergies and promised to give us something extra special for dessert. Our original waiter also insisted on giving us more free mocktails on the house. Talk about excellent service! As I commented to my boyfriend later, accidentally getting scallops was one of the best things we have ever done at  restaurant, lol.

As I mentioned earlier, my bf got the vegetarian alternative for the scallop dish. This was a salad of marinated vegetables with goat’s cheese. I have to admit that I tried a little of the goats cheese and I’m still quite a cheese.. I guess.. beginner? Is the best word for it. I found it far too bitter for my tastes and the flavours that developed with it were not to my liking at all. I had to down a bit of the ginger mocktail to get rid of the aftertaste. I think that I must have eaten a large section of the outside skin section of the cheese? Either way, I guess that just means I’m not much of a cheese connoisseur. Give me a brie with crackers any day and I’m happy 🙂

Last savoury course for the night – this was the slow roasted lamb rump with olive oil potato puree, crushed peas and burnt pepper vinagrette. It also came with marinated/roasted capsicum on top. Normally, I despise capsicum, but this added a lovely sweetness to the lamb, which was cooked to absolute perfection. I was getting to be absolutely stuffed at this part of the meal, but I couldn’t stop eating this dish. I’m a total sucker for lamb and this was completely delicious. The crushed peas and the potato puree were also great – the potato puree was so creamy and lovely. Even my bf, who hates mashed potatoes enjoyed it.

Macerated summer berries with sorbet (I think it was strawberry or melon, can’t quite remember.) This dessert was refreshingly small (so stuffed at this point!) but was also a nice dish to segue between dishes and also acted like a palate cleanser. The berries were lovely and juicy and suited the sorbet quite well.

The final (official) dessert of the night. Vanilla creme brulee with passionfruit and strawberry sorbet. I loved this dessert. My creme brulee cracks under my spoon perfectly (even though just from looking at it, you imagine that it is quite fragile and will crack easily, but it does not disappoint;) and is creamy and wonderful, studded gorgeously with black vanilla beans. I personally would love to know how they managed to get the custard into that shape on the plate so neatly, I honestly would have no idea about how to do it myself… The strawberry sorbet was lovely and cool and the creme brulee tasted fantastic with a tiny dab of the passionfruit sauce on your spoon. I can’t help it… I’m a total sucker for a good creme brulee and this was one of them. Despite how full I was feeling, I managed to finish it all off! I know.. I’m such a fatty 😛

These were the complimentary desserts I mentioned earlier.

(Left to right) ; Aerated dark chocolate infused with mint, nut honeycomb/praline/tasty noms, lemon sorbet in white chocolate, rhubarb crisp.

To be honest at this point we really could not eat any more, so fortunately the kind waiter wrapped up our remaining desserts and sent us home with them to munch on later (at work, in my case.)

While resting from the delicious meal at our table, I mentioned to the waiter that I had planned a visit to Becasse next month. He asked me when my reservation was for and my name and promptly disappeared. Who knows, maybe there will be something special there when I visit… or maybe he was calling to say something like “Under no circumstances can you give this girl shellfish.” Haha.

In summary;

I had a wonderful night out at Etch. Their Valentine’s Day menu was wonderful and all the dishes were excellent, which is sometimes a rare quality to find at some degustation restaurants. The service was impeccable and the decor was stunning, I would definitely recommend Etch as a nice romantic night out for you and a special friend.. or even a regular friend! I’d love to come and visit again in the future 🙂

For more info on their website click here for the Etch Dining website.

Etch on Urbanspoon

Hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day 🙂

xoxo

Christine

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chicken-pumpkin-salad

Cherrybrook Verve Cafe Review

Uncategorized January 21, 2011

I went to Cherrybrook Verve Cafe with Mike and his parents for his birthday.

It’s a great cafe with lots of fresh, yummy food with very generous serving sizes.

Mike and his parents all ordered salads, and I got grilled fish with salad and chips.


Wild rocket, beetroot and goats cheese salad with sweet balsamic ($10.00) with an extra serving of grilled chicken breast (+$3.50)

Pumpkin salad with diced butternut pumpkin, roasted capsicum, kalamata olives and marinated fetta ($10.00) with an extra serving of grilled chicken breast (+$3.50)


Verve Caesar Salad ($10.00) with an extra serving of grilled chicken breast (+$3.50)



Grilled fish with chips and garden salad and house made tartare sauce ($18.00).
We also ordered smoothies ($6.50 each) and pesto bread ($6.00).

Strawberry.. Accidentally drank too much before taking a pic, lol.


Banana 🙂 Both very delicious and creamy 🙂 Out of either of them I think I prefer the strawberry.


Pesto bread ($6.00)
All in all, Verve was a great place for lunch full of tasty, fresh food with some yummy and healthy options. Would definitely love to come here in the future again! Check this one out 🙂

Verve on Urbanspoon

Christine

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