Edible Review: Glebe Point Diner

October 23, 2007

It was my one year anniversary in Sydney on 19 October (one year, can you believe it!!!). So to celebrate this happy occassion, Nath took me to Glebe Point diner, in wait for it….Glebe.

Glebe Point DinerWe drove past the bustling restaurant strip and a good couple of km down the road, we found the elegant, open-plan Glebe Point Diner. Good thing we made a booking a few weeks ago as the place was packed – there were even people dining at the bar.

We were seated straight away at marble tables covered with white paper. This was the style of the diner – elegant yet casual, upmarket and trendy yet friendly and unpretentious. A truely great date destination.

The menu was brief – six starters and four mains. It’s not a great place if you’re veggie (and don’t eat fish) as the mains consisted of a chicken dish, two fish options and a beef salad. I guess you could have a selection of vegetarian entrees but how much fun is that???

Salad at GlebePDNath and I shared a fennel and artichoke salad with cheddar, broadbeans and the star of the dish – pomegranate seeds. We also ordered fresh sour dough bread (for $2 a board). Delicious combination.

Lisa_gpdFor mains, I opted for the seared tuna, which was perfectly prepared – pink in the middle. It was served with a pepperonata which was a mixture of grilled peppers – scrumptious and potato scallops which were deep fried to a crisp and just not worth the laden calories.

Nathan_gpdNath munched on the Angus steak strips with watercress, parmesan and lemon dressing. This was outstanding – the meat was tender and the dressing piquant.

Price wise, the dishes were well priced for a good restaurant. Mains were between $14 and $18 and mains were about $30 – generous portions and good value.

The service was efficient and friendly and the food was fast – despite the packed room.

Nath_lisa_gpdWe decided to leave dessert as we were heading for a new chocolate cafe in the area. But we’ll give them a try next time.

I really loved our meal and would recommend this for a special occassion or even just an everyweek treat. 


Edible Review: Brown Sugar – Bondi beach

August 30, 2007

Meet my new favourite restaurant – Brown Sugar situated in the world famous Bondi beach (not on the beach but up one of the side streets).

I’ve been there three times now and each time, I’ve enjoyed my meal thoroughly. It’s warm, friendly and cosy and the food is top-notch and has a wonderful home-made style with a dash of modern Australian thrown into the mix.

 The dining area is small – it must hold about 50 people so when it gets full (which it most often does), it can get slightly buzzy. But that just adds to the atmosphere.

menuThe menu is written on the large blackboard on the wall, although it hasn’t seemed to change during my visits – perhaps they adapt the menu seasonally.

I usually start with the lentil and haloumi salad which gives a nice healthy-ish boost to the meal. They not exactly overally generous with the cheese but haloumi is actually quite rich so sharing between two, you get about two strips of this rubbery but delicious cheese each. The lentils are interspersed with small blocks of beetroot and sweet potato.

fish pieBrown Sugar is famous for their fish pie (they use blue eyed cod for the filling). as you can see from the pic, it is large and golden crusted and looks really delicious. Since I’m not a bit fishy fan, I had to rely on my sister and mom for their verdict. My mom felt that the topping was on the saltier side but the creamy filling got a thumbs up from both. The empty dishes were obviously a good sign.

 I have my usual – fresh linguine pasta with roasted pumpkin and rocket. You won’t find this on the blackboard – it’s actually on their lunch menu which I happened to check out on the ‘net before coming to eat. Anyway, it was even better than it sounded and was bursting with taste. Perfect winter comfort food. I usually have this without the chilli oil but if you like a bite, then keep this in for some added spice.

They also have specials every night – like their seafood bouillabasse which a friend of mine had and seemed packed to the brim with a variety of seafood. Yet again, the bowl was licked clean.

Nathan’s tried the lamb (delicious) and the duck (roasted so that the meat just falls off the bone) which was served with caramelised pear and rosti. Others ordered the osso bucco (also reported to be excellent).

Dessert is another highlight – with the farm chocolate soufle a decadent treat – it’s a small choccy dome housing oozing chocolate molten lava – wow! The pannacotta (a special) was deemed delicious and the tipsy tart packed all kinds of fruit was also very good.

My favourite part though is paying the bill – who would have thought that. ‘Cause instead of the peppermint, they bring you a sliver of the most delicious melt-in-your-mouth brownie. I always ask for two pieces – one is never enough. I’ve tried to get the chef to bake me a whole brownie but i haven’t succeded yet. I will keep trying and I will keep on returning to Brown Sugar.

Edible Review: Jimmy Licks

May 7, 2007

The Girls at Jimmy LicksI felt like good Asian – and somewhere different. So I got onto the ‘net, did a couple of searches and came up with Jimmy Licks in Potts Point. I gathered some mates (Jo, Terri, Mich and Marc) and we headed for dinner. Jo chauffeured me in her brand new Hyundai Getz and we finally found a parking along some dark side street.

By the time, Jo and I arrived at Jimmy’s, Terri and Michy were well into their first lychee (pronounced lie-chee rather than than the South Africa lee-chee) martini. It’s a fabulously long chic bar here and I couldn’t resist the watermelon something or other. (I think it was a martini) and it was yummy!

Mich and TerriYou can’t book a table here but our places were ready pretty quickly and we were lead to the rear of the restaurant and joined a long communual table sitting on stools and benches. Apparently, Jimmy’s has an association with the well-known Longrain and while I’ve never visited this restaurant, apparently the menu and décor is pretty similar.

I decided to have the seared tuna dish which was very tasty. I tasted some of Marc’s wagyu beef (which is from Kobe meat that was been massaged for days to make it more tender – weird but true). Very silky and tender.

Yummy Chicken DishThe atmosphere is loud and vibey – not really a date place, we decided, unless you sit in the quieter outdoor tables. All over, a well recommended eating experience.

Edible Review: A sizzling lunch at Sizzler, Kogarah

March 25, 2007

In 1994, when my family first set foot on Aussie soil, my uncle and cousins took us pretty much straight from the airport to Sizzler. This was their local hangout and they went pretty much every weekend. For something like $5 a person, you had access to an “eat-as-much-as-you-like” salad buffet as well as a bottomless cup for the soda fountain. What a feast.

Cousins at SizzlerSo it was with great nostalgia that I ate at a Sizzler restaurant when I visited Queensland and when I returned to Sydney, I did a bit of research. Despite all rumours that there were no more Sizzlers in NSW (due to some sort of rat poison in the salad scare), the website disclosed that there were actually 3 in the state. The closest was in Kogarah, which is a mere 20 minute drive from the city.

So I finally convinced the Millers that a trip down memory lane was necessary. So Taryn, Cameron, Lara, Howard, Jules, Avril and me, headed out to Kogarah. Calli was studying for exams so unfortunately couldn’t join us. Richard wouldn’t be seen dead in Sizzler and Tamara wanted to hang out with her hubby.

The Sizzler MenuIt’s a bit of a depressing place, this Kogarah, very industrial and dusty but as soon as I saw the familar green and red Sizzler sign, things got more cheery. It’s obviously the place to be for Sunday lunch, as it looked as if us and every pensioner in the area was in the queue for a table. But it didn’t take us too long to reach the cashier.

Inflation meant that it now cost $20 for the buffet and drinks but it’s still a pretty good deal.

According to the Millers, nothing much had changed. The decor was slightly different but the salads were pretty much identical. We started with soup (which apparently also tasted the same as a decade ago) and then went onto the variety of salads. Quite tasty actually.

The yummy Sizzler SundaeThe highlight was, of course, dessert. It went like this – a glob of cookies of cream pudding, a touch of apple crumble, a dot of jelly, smothered with some vanilla softserve (which you can control by yourself) and then topped with oreo crumbles, smarties and jelly beans. Gourmet dessert. We all felt like kids again.

Family at SizzlerLots of photos (I even had one with the Sizzler man – well, the manager), an attempt to sing Happy Birthday (not sure why, as my b-day was last month 🙂 and lots of laughs. It was a great nostaligic trip. I’m not sure if we’ll be back every weekend but maybe once a year will be good enough.

Edible Review: Lenotre High Tea at Sofitel Wentworth

March 25, 2007

Nothing can beat a girly high tea and Sydney is definitely on short of choices. We initially were going to indulge in this English tradition at the Victoria Rooms in Darlinghurst but then I remembered reading about this highly specialised French tea at the Sofitel Wentworth in Phillip Street in Sydney city.

So what’s so special about this afternoon tea? Well, the Chef Patissier, Mark Stone, has been trained in the exclusive art of Lenotre, which is a famous French Patisserie brand. This, gastronomic art (as it is so called), is available at very prestigious destinations all over the world but this is the first place that Lenotre has made its appearance in Sydney.

The girls at High TeaOrit, Monika, Simone and myself arrived at the hotel (which to me seemed a little dull as far as the luxury stakes go) and headed straight for the lounge. Then we were transported into another era with the relaxing piano music in the background and lovely sumptuous furnishings.

The waitress (who couldn’t speak English that well) struggled to tell us all the teas that were available – my suggestion is to print a list – it would make things easier for everyone. We ordered different teas and the gourmet pastries for 4.

The presentation was magnificent – almost too good to eat. The treats were displayed on a tier stand with about 5 different levels. On each level, sat a scrumptious looking edible item.

The High Tea TreatsOn the bottom, there were 3 sarmies, 2 mini-scones. Above that, a delish lemon tart, an opera slice (described as chocolate pastry with layers of almond biscuit, chocolate ganache with coffee butter cream and topped with gold leaf), two other decadent pastries with the top level holding a rich dark choccy cone filled with berries coulis and cream. While one or two of the slices looked better then they tasted, generally it was a fabulous taste sensation.

Our two complaints were that:
1) The service was somewhat slow and a request for water took hours and dramatic dying of thirst noises from me to actually materialise
2) If you order tea for one, you get a smaller tiered stand with 3 sarmies, 2 scones and everything except one pastry slice. However, if you order a shared tea, you get a larger stand with pretty much the same ingredients (ie 3 sarmies, 2 scones and this you have to share between two). Just didn’t make logical sense!

So the solution is to order you own individual tea. Admittedly we left on a Mount Everest Sugar High and couldn’t fit another morsel in but I guess it’s just the principle.

We’ve decided we’re going to try do this on a monthly basis so watch out for more high tea stories.

QE2, QM2 & Pancakes on the Rocks

March 23, 2007

A little while ago, the QE2 and the Queen Mary2 landed at Circular Quay at the same time. Clearly, we went to oggle the 2 ocean liners – along with 5 trillion other people. Sydney was unprepared for the mass of onlookers (it was the promise of fireworks that probably attracted everyone) and there was traffic gridlock and many furious people.

QE2 in SydneyIt was very special for me to see the QE2 come into the harbour and I was flooded with memories of my trip on the cruise ship with my mom a couple of months ago. It seemed almost a dream that I was actually a guest on this Royal Vessel.

It took us forever to get our food at a nearby restaurant at Circular Quay and we were so hungry, we hardly batted an eyelid at the lovely fireworks.

 Afterwards, we took a stroll towards the Rocks and headed for Pancakes on the Rocks – a famous dessert restaurant. There is always a queue to get into this place but it moved pretty fast and soon we were downstairs seated at a table and drooling over the pictures on the menu.

Emil and Jo with Strawberry PancakeWe all had a variety of delicious pancake variations. I had two plain pancakes (they’re actually more like thick flapjacks) one choccy and one vanilla – soooooo scrumptious.

I will definitely be back.

The Birthday Weekend – Jonah’s at Palm Beach

March 7, 2007

It was my birthday on 19 February and so began the celebrations.

It started on Saturday morning with an early morning drive out to Palm Beach with Tamara and Richard. It was about an hour’s drive and with Rich’s handy GPS, we got there in easy time.

We made our way to Palm Beach’s exclusive getaway Jonahs Beach House which is tucked away high on a hill overlooking the magnificent beach.

Tamara and Richard at Jonahs in Palm BeachWe were seated at the window with a panoramic view of the gorgeous scenery. It was all solid silver cutlery, white napkins and smartly dressed waiters – very sophisticated.

The difference between Jonah’s and other brekkie places is there was no buffet in sight. Here it was a’ la carte all the way – which was actually better in the long-run as you don’t land up eating yourself into a rotund ball.

There were two sections (let’s say starters and main) and you can choose one dish from each. I had the delicious muesli to start and then the pancakes to follow. Very yum.

The view from JonahsAfter breakfast (I think it was something like $35 each), we took a slow drive back through Palm Beach admiring the beach and then stopped at a small town and bought some bread at an enticing bakery.

What a lovely day.