Pilu at Freshwater, Freshwater

Pilu at Freshwater

Strozzapretti is appropriately “priest choker” or “priest strangler” in Italian
because of its rope-like appearance.

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Not long ago, Sydney’s Italian food scene was dominated by restaurants serving popular pastas and pizzas that were great but not differentiated by regional flavours.

Now there are Lombardian-inspired Ormeggio, Sardinian-inspired Pilu and the creativity continues with Japanese Italian-inspired Lumi and Korean Italian-inspired Acme.

Chopinand and I love Italian food and as the weather turns cooler, we crave for the comforting warmth of pasta and the earthiness of Italian cooking.

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Missy French, Potts Point

Missy French

Spanish mackerel is one of my favourite fish.
And this one is deliciously simple enough for anyone to cook at home.

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“The earliest booking they have is 9pm” Mysaucepan says.

“That suits me just fine … we can avoid the hip crowd” I say. “We might even score a park on a busy Saturday evening!”

If you happen to be the daughter of a celebrity chef like Neil Perry who is opening a restaurant in Sydney, is there any other suburb to do it other than in Darlinghurst, Surry Hills or Potts Point? Continue reading

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Peppercorn, Cremorne

Peppercorn Cremorne

The skin of this duck confit is crisp,
its strands of succulent meat soaking up a sweet star anise sauce.

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(Note: This is a sponsored blog post.)

I am curious because it was so many years since I dined at this Cremorne stalwart serving European style dishes for the last fifteen years.

Located off Military road, Peppercorn shares a communal al fresco dining area with neighbouring restaurants. I recall fish and chips lunches washed down with Crown lagers on lazy afternoons in summer.

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Brooklyn, Claremont

Brooklyn Cafe Restaurant Lounge Claremont

This wagyu burger is pretty good but at $25, it’s up there with Perth’s most expensive too.

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“You have to try their bread with maple butter, it’s one of our favourites there” my sister Alice tells us.

“I’m all for pub grub as long as there’s meat” I reply.

“It’s a New York style pub so there must be the cocktails too!” Mysaucepan says gleefully.

“Yaay, I’m in!” our niece Rene says.

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Odyssea, City Beach

Odyssea, City Beach

The vibe is casual, just like the food.
But the view of the Indian ocean is nothing short of spectacular.

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It might have been a long time coming for this stretch of paradise along City Beach where my sister and her family lives in Perth.

Finally, gone is the dated old beach arena of yesteryear. Continue reading

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Guillaume, Paddington

Guillaume, Paddington

Olive oil and ink is slick against the squid with thread marks of a Michelin car tyre.
Unfortunately, its texture is also quite similar.

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Have you guys been to Gooleemee? our friend Jeff casually asks over dinner.

“Where?” I ask .. a little puzzled.

“French restaurant in Paddo … the Mr. Gooleemee chef who used to run his restaurant at Sydney Opera House” he says in his usual non-chalant fashion.

“You mean Guillaume!” Mysaucepan says, accentuating the phonetics gee yom.

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Cookbook review: Spice Temple by Neil Perry

Cookbook review - Spice Temple by Neil Perry

I was never a big fan cooking with Sichuan pepper but
its subtle nuances in this beef brisket has brought me back again.

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Neil Perry’s love of Chinese food – first eating it, and then cooking it – goes back to his earliest memories. Since then, he has dedicated himself to mastering its unique balance of flavours and textures, culminating in the Spice Temple journey.

Here, in seductive and sultry surroundings, diners experience fiery heat, silken coolness and numbing spice. From signature pickles that fire up the appetite to classic yum cha dumplings, three-shot chicken, flathead drowned in heaven-facing chillies and Sichuan peppercorns, these are the authentic tastes of regional China.

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Sydney celebrity chef Neil Perry has been cooking good food for well over thirty years.

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Goodbye 2015 ~ A Feast For Our Tummies

Goodbye 2015 - A Feast For Our Tummies

Time passes really quickly when you are having a good time but we prefer to say
time passes really quickly when there is so much food and so little time!

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He Tai Open Kitchen Yum Cha, North Ryde

He Tai Open Kitchen Yum Cha

Beautiful wok technique and homemade XO sauce give due justice to these king prawns.
The bonus is tangy finger lime popping in my mouth.

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Sydney’s dining scene has never been so vibrant and competitive in recent years. Each week, new restaurants, cafes and bars are sprouting all over the city like wild mushrooms. Boisterous fanfare and promo by a well-oiled PR machinery is the preferred mode of entry for many restarants, let alone the legion of food lovers spreading the gossip via social media.

So it’s rather surprising that a modern 250-seater Cantonese has slipped into the fray this week without a squeak in the media except for a few dumplings on instagram.

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Firedoor, Surry Hills

Firedoor, Surry Hills

This piece of meat is good but at $138,
it epitomizes the economic concept of diminishing marginal returns.

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There’s apple, cherry, pear, orange, olive and pecan on the menu though it’s not meant to be put into your mouth.

Instead, it’s chef Lennox Hastie‘s range of fire wood to impart chargrill flavours into meats and seafood. Honing his skills with head chef Victor Arguinzoniz at Etxebarri, this wood fire restaurant in the Basque region of Spain collected its first Michelin star and made the World’s Best 50 Restaurants during his tenure.

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Malaysia’s Best Sarawak Laksa

Malaysia's best Sarawak Laksa

The stock is a gritty blend of pepper, chilli, onion, ginger and candle nut
whilst the ingredients could not have been any fresher.

This is truly Malaysia’s best Sarawak laksa.

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“You’re going to be a very lucky boy” she tells me in my face.

“Are you’re finally coming to your senses relenting to that big crush you had on me all these years?” I say to my childhood friend.

She retorts immediately. “You wish … though what I have in mind could be just as tasty!” she teases.

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Food Safari, King Street Wharf, Sydney

Food Safari, King street wharf, Sydney

It has called the eastern foreshore of Darling Harbour home for more than a decade now.

But fast taking shape just north is the much larger Barangaroo retail and commercial precinct with an earmarked 50 new restaurants when it eventually opens in 2018. So, the restaraurants at King Street Wharf are looking to reinvent themselves in anticipation of intense competition from its next door neighbour.

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Book review: The Light Between Oceans, by M L Stedman

The Light Between Oceans

Standing on fine white sand at the edge of the Indian ocean in Western Australia, I gaze at the seaport towards the south. Through misty ocean spray roughed up by the roaring surf, the silhouette of Fremantle reinforces the vast distance of this magnificent coastline.

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Beef tripe salad with coriander and grape tomato

Beef tripe salad with coriander and grape tomato

If you are not a fan of beef tripe, this salad is just as versatile with
charred squid or baby octopus from the BBQ.

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“Thanks Molly for your inspiration” I tell my friend. “I love beef tripe at yum cha and this recipe is right up my alley!”. Continue reading

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Malaysian style fish ball noodles

Malaysian style fish ball noodles

Street food in Kuala Lumpur can be damn tasty.
But nothing beats comfort street food served in the comforts of your own home.

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JPB at Swissotel, Sydney

JPB at Swissotel Sydney

Located high on its eighth level, JPB at Sydney’s 5-star Swissotel has ushered in a new Executive Chef to complement newly refurbished Skyline room and suites with panoramic views of the city.

With a kind invitation from General Manager Mr Christian Hirt, I am here for lunch to check out Joshua Askew‘s new spring menu. Continue reading

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Sarita’s Rocksia Hotel, Arncliffe

Sarita's Rocksia Hotel, Arncliffe

Some thirty years ago when I first came to Sydney, I remember restaurant food within pubs to be pretty mediocre.

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LuMi Bar & Dining, Pyrmont

“If the Indians can eat masala and spicy curries with yoghurt,
why can’t Italians eat this lamb rib with remnants of soybean?”

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Bishop Sessa, Surry Hills

This dessert is refreshingly light where passionfruit infused kiwifruit cheesecake
is paired with biscuit crumb, lightened with a fresh herbaceous basil ice cream.

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Subcontinental, Surry Hills

Subcontinental

Pani puri can be a lot thinner and crisp though a tangy appetizer.

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UPDATE December 2015: This restaurant has permanently closed for business.

First, he co-founded Longrain that showcased why Thai food is so much more than just green curry and kana moo krob.

Then, his hellenic vibe of Apollo brought us taramasalata white cod roe dip and flatbread while paying homage to good old Greek style smoky charred octopus. And Cho Cho San introduced seductive modern Japanese izakaya so sensual on those breezy summer nights in Sydney.

Now, Sam Christie‘s latest foray into modern Indian is adding even more spice to the melting pot of restaurants in trendy Surry Hills.

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Opera Bar, Sydney Opera House

Opera Bar, Sydney Opera House

It’s difficult to find a more quintessential Sydney dining experience than 
fish and chips on a glorious day at the Sydney Opera House.

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Hartsyard, Newtown

Hartsyard, Newtown

 This fried chicken brings America’s deep south to Sydney’s Newtown among
its eclectic mix of graffiti, pink hair, gothic eyes, nose rings and tongue studs.

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Cottage Point Inn, Cottage Point

Cottage Point Inn, Cottage Point

The pairing of pork and scallop has been done to death by Sydney restaurants.
But Chef Zika’s take on this dish is a game changer.

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Caysorn, Haymarket

Caysorn Thai, Haymarket

The smoky aromas of this grilled baby octopus combines beautifully
with a sweet and spicy seafood sauce.

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Hugos Bar Pizza, Kings Cross

Hugos Bar Pizza, Kings Cross
Like the diners around us, these prawns are pretty
though missing charred flavours of the grill.

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After so many years, images of that pork belly pizza at Hugos Bar Pizza one late Saturday evening with the Monk are still deliciously etched in my mind.

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