Our bill comes to $145pp but unsurprisingly 60% of the bill consists of wine.
If we were staying in Sydney I would definitely be back to try everything else on the menu.
The first Supper Club of 2014 didn't happen until June. But it's better late than never and Supper Club June was definitely better. Ester came onto my radar during a blogger dinner at the Tilbury Hotel last year. Sugarlace and The Gook both sang it's praises so I've been waiting impatiently to go. It's pretty exciting to get out of the Eastern Sydney bubble, even though Chippendale isn't really THAT far. At 6.30pm on a Thursday night, Ester is already full. Jars wood and bottles decorate the glowing sandstone walls and there's a warm unpretentious vibe about the place. Loving it already.
Miss Whittington the accountant advises we should go ala carte and we decide to share. We want everything so with the aid of a pen cull our list and hand our scribbled-on menu to our waiter (I don't recommend you scribble over restaurant's menus). Let the 12 course feast begin.
Crunchy chickpeas with rosemary are super addictive and I could just eat these all night and be happy. We're pretty hungry so demolish the house baked bread with butter instantly (pro tip: save some bread for mopping up juices later). I'm not a fan of mollusc so left the roasted oysters, supper club says they're good.
The blood sausage sangas come highly recommended and they are goooood. Fluffy, barely there bread cuddles a mini sausages of congealed blood. I love black pudding so totally dig these. The calamari has that delicious char bbq flavour that goes perfectly with the bright green goddess dressing.
Chicken feet? Nope but almost - crispy pig tails with black vinegar and I think a hit of Szechuan pepper. We're apprehensive at first but get stuck in and actually enjoy these. None of us can have more than one tail though, it's quite fatty.
More more more! The prawns with capers and brown butter are big enough for us to split each one. Insert bread here. The carrots with parmesan and sesame is another stand-out dish. Moreish and slightly sweet, we want more carrots but we have so much food already. I hate molluscs but the pippies with spaetzle (german noodle) and chilli smells so good, I have to have some. Insert bread here. The cauliflower, almond cream, almonds and mint salad is ridiculous, another must order.
Greens with fermented chilli and fried garlic is also delicious. We're proud of how many veges we order! The fish fillet with saltbush and vinegar is tasty but oh the chicken. Wood-fired chicken with garlic bread sauce - savoury, lemony, pungent, bbq-y this is an awesome dish and disappears quickly.
GVH and I obsess over our love of all things coconut - coconut oil for cleaning away makeup, coconut soap, coconut shampoo, coconut cream. It's all amazing. So obviously we order the coconut, sake and rice dessert. The barely there dessert consists of sake jelly, coconut water granita and sticky coconut rice. So refreshing and light.
If I wasn't so coco loco I would've gone for the three milks which is made up of pannacotta, yoghurt and dulche de leche but with a twist using ricotta, goat's milk and sheep's milk. For contrast there's a biscuit crumb with rosemary.The boys go for a scoop of salter caramel ice-cream
To drink - the La Bruja Averia Rozas de Puerto Real is nice enough but the Podere 72 Rosso Piceno Superiore from Marche Italy is out of this world. 50% Sangiovese and Montepulciano it's fruity, deep and dirty but so drinkable. You know the kind of wine you don't need food with? This is it. The Ester team are kind enough to keep the last bottle for us while we're tucking into the second to last bottle. Such attentive service!
Our bill comes to $145pp but unsurprisingly 60% of the bill consists of wine.
If we were staying in Sydney I would definitely be back to try everything else on the menu.
The word 'slick' comes to mind when you visit Baccomatto Osteria. Concrete, blocky and minimalist , this rectangular Italian doesn't have a painted vista or family photo on the wall. But just like your neighbourhood family Italian, the service at Baccomatto is incredibly warm and welcoming. Our lovely waiter knew it was a rhetorical question when she asked if we wanted more wine, she had two bottles on wine in hands ready to go.
We were lucky to book a table via Baccomatto Osteria's website on Mother's Day weekend. Bacco has popped up on Instagram but I didn't have too much expectation. Well, prepare to have your expectations set high. Ignore the grumpy grumps reviewers.
We ordered lots of entrees to share - the fritto misto (calamari) was light and soft, not chewy at all. The olives were meaty with lots of bite. I find pate is never served with enough bread, the two slices definitely wasn't enough for our pate. Thin slices of green apple was perfect to cut through the richness of the pate. The aracini was hot and gooey on the inside, very crispy on the outside. Perfect.
For main I chose the gnocchi. It's beautifully light with just a coat of veal and porcini ragu and a generous dusting of parmesan. However I still get massive food envy.
The pork which didn't look like much was soft and the sauce with sage so so good. The stand out was the lamb shank. We ordered the last two of the night. The carrot puree tasted like it had a mix of potato through it and we couldn't get enough of it. I'm not 100% sure what the fried straw looking things were but they tasted damn good! It might have been parsnip. The fish received good reports too. Basically you can't go wrong with anything on the menu.
We ordered greens, potatoes and a cauliflower gratin as sides to share but we almost didn't need them.
They must have liked us (or maybe everyone gets some) because as we're ordering coffee glasses of pastel yellow Limoncello appear on our table. I think it might have been homemade but I can't 100% recall. Strong and zesty this was the perfect digestif.
I wholeheartedly recommend Baccomatto Osteria. Drink up, be merry and eat some awesome food.
$80pp including wine
The second we decided to move from Bondi back into the city, small bars and quirky restaurants started popping up. So now, ironically, you'll find me in Bondi most weekends.
If you're in Sydney for the long weekend, you need to get yourself to PaperPlanes. Especially on a Sunday when Sushi Planes is on like donkey kong. $30 for all your can eat Japanese! What the what?!
No need to order, the food continuously flows out, yumcha styles. If there's something you missed out on or can't get enough of, the super nice PaperPlaners will sort you out. Make sure to book, Sushi Planes is extremely popular. Especially as there's cocktails (go the chee chee mule or lychee and ginger martini). JUGS of cocktails.
Keep an eye out on their fb page to know when Sushi Planes, $5 ramen and other delicious events are on. For more about PaperPlanes check out my EatDrinkPlay post.
I'll let the photos do the talking...
After the tremendous feast you'll need a walk along Bondi Beach. Still packed in winter.
Stanley St Merchants is the name, "locally sourced, internationally awarded" is their game. As the first ever champions of the crowd-funded restaurant platform Icon Park, Stanley St Merchants opened less than two months after their win. Sydney loves a pop-up so when elsewheretraveller and I visit during Stanley's first week of opening it's packed, naturally. During lunch I'm reminded of a SMH article about fickleness of Sydney diners. I rarely go back to restaurants I've been to (takeaway's a different story). When there's talk of dining plans I always suggest the newest kids in town. Fickle I am and damn excited about lunch at Stanley St Merchants. I event tried to go a week before they opened.
With Matt Stone (Greenhouse and Silo) as kitchen captain you know the menu will feature lots of native Australian goodies like as quangdong, kangaroo, crickets and ants. Yep insects. Ants maybe but crickets? They're massive!
After a big farewell the previous night, a hair of the dog cure is calling my name. Not only that, the food here is very deserving of a nice glass of wine. I go with a Manners Gewurztraminer from Mudgee ($10) and Miss Elsewheretraveller, a glass of the S.C Pannell Pinot Grigio from Adelaide Hills ($15).
We order two small plates to share - smoked eggplant dip with flat bread ($14) and chicken liver parfait with a quangdong sauce ($15).
The eggplant dip is incredibly smoky and the addition of dill make it's interesting, in a good way. We quickly mop it all up with the flat bread. It wouldn't do any harm to order more bread or order the Stanley St bread and butter so you have enough carbs.
Pretty as a picture this chicken liver parfait! The parfait is smooth and slightly mousse like. It's quite thin so really needs the super crunchy toast that comes with it. The quangdong sauce cuts through the richness nicely.
To make sure there's enough dessert room, we share a main of coorong mullet, roe, cos and nasturtium ($29). Another picturesque dish and tasty too. The mullet has bubbly crispy skin and is cooked perfectly. It's pretty cool to cut the cos in half length ways so the bright pops of roe tumble out. Like dissecting a fish.
I can't put my finger on the taste of the apple green nasturtium puree - a bit bitter and sweet but not overpowering. We order some boiled greens to boost the vege content but I'd suggest getting the mash.
Whoa what is this crazy mofo?
We ask our friendly waitress to suggest a dessert. It's a toss up between the charcoal toasted meringue with ryeberries and ants ($10) or white chocolate & yoghurt mousse with kale granita and rosella ($15). I'm feeling a bit delicate so no bugs for us. The kale granita seems a bit out there but it provides a fresh contrast to the sweet mousse. The bright pink splash is a sweet rosella sauce (wild hibiscus) although I thought it was beetroot. What looks like legs is white chocolate.
The brave ladies sitting across the table let me photograph their marshmallow. They tell me the ants are crunchy and don't taste like much. I wonder how they collect the ants. Maybe that's the job of the massive honeycomb on the counter.
The bill comes to $104 for two. Which to my partially hungover self was a little surprising at first. However given the calibre of cooking it's a price you would expect to pay.
There's two more levels above Stanley St Merchants on it's way - Uncle Sal’s House of Cards and Dominos and The East Sydney Distilling Co. Which means fickle punters will be visiting the building three times. Very clever, although probably not the intention.
What to try next time - the oysters if I ate oyster, they're huge // kangaroo (love when it's cooked right) // marshmallow with ants..., maybe.
Which restaurants do you regularly return to?
Open Mon-Sun 7am-midnight
Once upon a time it took 6 months for Robbo's to receive his birthday present from me. It wasn't my fault of course. It took the artist ages to find new printer. The framed print now looks over our dining table. Recently we celebrated Merren and Faith's birthday at Mr Moustache. One month late. I see a theme.
I wasn't going to upload this post. March into Merivale obviously ends in March so what's the point? Wrong! March into Merivale runs through to 11 April - giving you 9 more days to make the most of the meal deals. Grab a drink and 1-2 courses for lunch or dinner Mon-Fri for only $33 in Merivale's pubs and restaurants. Always down for a bargain I suggested the Fish Shop in Potts Point for a girly catch-up one Thursday.
There's lots of sea paraphernalia and distressed wood happening in the ex-Lotus site. Merivale's official description is "Inspired by Cape Cod, The Hamptons, Nantucket, imagine a white-washed slice of classic seaside Americana". It does feel like that but definitely more casual than a Hamptons soiree in Revenge.
The tomato sauce bottle has me reminiscing about walks to the fush and chup shop opposite our primary school in NZ. My memory is hazy but I'm sure we could get a tall milkshake, fish, chips maybe a hotdog too for less than a tenner. The best way to eat the deep-fried goods was to stuff the newspaper wrapped bundle in my jumper, rip the top of the package and tuck in. Look Ma no hands! I could never find a store=bought version of the luminescent sweet tomato sauce.
Taking inflation into account $10 in the 90's is probably about $33 in 2014 right? At the Fish Shop $33 gets you two courses and a glass of wine or beer. Everyone on the meal deal goes for the scallops in garlic butter and lime. I wished scallops grew into the size of dinner plates.
Meal deal mains are either a salmon nicoise or grilled ocean jacket. I'm not keen on having a salad for dinner so go for the ocean jacket get envy when the nicoise comes out. It's so pretty and what a huge hunk of salmon! The ocean jacket is a big meaty fish which has a good bit of salty sea flavour. It's served simples with grilled tomatoes and zuchinni, it's all it needs.
If I didn't get the meal deal I would've chosen the fish burger - it has bacon and chilli! Perfect for our bacon-loving pescatarian. At $19 for a fish burger and chips it's on the exxy side.
Lady Tittington goes for the Blue Eye but cooked in the style of another dish that I can't remember. It's served with a delicate beetroot gratin-like thingy on top.
All the ladies enjoy their fishy meal and I want to go back to see how good their fish and chips are. Also I'm mad keen to see how good Dan Hong's famous cheeseburger really is. Voted one of the best 10 burgers in Sydney, it must be a stunner. The Fish Shop also does a steak for your seafood haters out there.
Get on your phone now and book a table at Bottle and Beast and before they leave Pyrmont at the end of March. The pop-up restaurant by Jared Ingersoll (Danks St Depot) and Jason Hoy The beast is of course beautiful and the main attraction but the antler charcuterie, mountain bread, comforting starters and the dessert are so freakin' good. All for just $55! Gather your besties and enjoy a gut-bustingly delicious meal before Bottle and Beast ride off into the sunset.
The simple fit-out in this former pub makes the most recycled wood. It feels a lil' bit country, a lil' bit warehouse and mirrors the rustic feel of the menu. BOB are celebrating the summer of riesling so we start off with a zesty riesling. I always forget to write down the wine, sorry! But the sommelier and staff are very knowledgeable and you'll be able to find a wine to your liking. We end the night on a red that I can't remember the name of. Doh.
We spy a table receiving an antler and we hope we're getting it too. The antler is presented with the charcuterie which is an extra $30 (for the table) and an easy sell. Each bit is yum especially the brown blob that looks like tuna. So tasty, like stuffing. The beetroot chutney and steak tartare are also favourites. Oh the mountain bread, so moreish! I can't stop slathering on pepe saya's butterand shoving it in my gob!
Next course is the popo pomodoro. Traditionally a tomato bread soup its translated into more of a chunky stew at BOB. It's packed of fresh tomato flavour and a generous glug of quality olive oil. When the poached speck with grilled spring onions and grape sauce comes out we think it's the main piggy already. But no! We're still on starters my friends. I've never had such a big piece of speck cooked this way. The smokiness is lovely with the grapes.
When the roasted pumpkin and onion and zesty kale salad come out we know it's beast time.
Sorry this is a poor photo of the glorious pig! Meat falls off the bone with a slight tong nudge. The bay sauce is slightly sweet and goes awesome with piggy. I would have loved if the crackling was cracklier.
Each night two lucky tables are offered half the pig's head, gratis. Now, one beast has one head and BOB has more than two tables. You do the maths. And wouldn't you know it, we win half a head. Booya! The boys get stuck in snipping away and we see teeth, no brain thank goodness. The ear is the clear favourite, so crunchy. We must look hungry because we're also offered extra ribs to gnaw on.
The mountain bread receives a Cinderella makeover and is unveiled as bread and butter milk pudding with cream. There's a tanginess from the mountain bread and sweetness from the caramelised charred sides that rocks. We're completely stuffed but lick the pudding plate clean.
Because we get through quite a few bottles of beer and wine our total bill is $95 per person.
I'd love to return to Bottle and Beast but no time! Last day 31st March. Go.
0449 107 firstname.lastname@example.org
11a Pyrmont Bridge Road, Pyrmont
Mon: 19:00 - 23:30
Thu - Sat: 19:00 - 23:00
Sun: 13:00 - 17:00
The Carlisle Bar very kindly put on a food bloggers evening a few weeks ago to showcase it's cocktails and new tapas menu by Chrys Xipolitas. My 'leave-no-rice-behind' modus operandi coupled with my +1 = a not so quiet school night. The last time Miss Murphy joined me at an event we ended up in a kebab shop despite having food and wine all night. An endless supply of wine. We chatted to some lovely students over kebabs and ate all their baba ghanoush. I'm no longer allowed to be alone with Miss Murphy.
New write-up on Eat Drink Play - Hinky Dinks and Jimmy Irvine's winning cocktail
New Year's resolution for blogging every week lasted all of two weeks. Typical. To add to the lateness I actually visited Momofuku Seiobo back in October. Whoops. But comparing notes it seems a lot of dishes are still on the menu in slight variations.
Momofuku and it's owner and chef David Chang are big kahunas in the food world. David Chang's famous pork bun is probably responsible for taking the humble 'bao' from your Asian granny to it's dizzy food trending heights. Knowing that I'll be consuming the Momofuku bao gives me butterflies.
The restaurant located in the Star is dimly lit and when Jefferson, Hollie, Robbo and I arrive for our 12.40pm booking, the buzz is busy but calm. The menu is a surprise until the very end but we know we're in for many dishes of awesome.