Wednesday, December 23, 2009


What a lovely surprise to see so many family members. Just when I thought it will be a small birthday dinner with my parents, sister and her family, it turns out more than a dozen family members turn up to celebrate my birthday, thanks to my lovely hubby R for organizing it at Saveur.

Saveur is a dining restaurant in a little cottage with different european like paintings hanging on the wall. On a week night, there was only our group and another table seated. I almost feel like as if we were having a private function hiring the entire restaurant all to ourselves.

While one of the dinning area automatically turn into a parents room with babies within the group. It could be really difficult for parents with young infants to dine out. However the restaurant accommodated them very well.

Sydney rock oysters with mignonette granita

Salad of pickled beetroot with fennel, apple, goats curd & hazelnut

Macleay valley white rabbit terrine with cornichon, caperberries & quail eggs

Ocean trout "gravlax" with ruby grapefruit, radish, olive oil & celery salt

Grain fed beef fillet with grilled blue cheese polenta, wild mushroom ragout & tarragon jus

Duck - Roasted breast & confit of its own leg with pomme anna, watercress & walnut salad with calvados gastric

Pork- braised belly and roasted fillet with spring onion spatzle cake, confit of garlic, crackling & sage sauce

Visually all food presented very well, while dishes I had certainly satisfy my taste-bud. Overall, had a wonderful birthday dinner surrounded by love ones and good food. It's great to know there is such a lovely dining place in the north shore area. I hope in the near future, more fine dining restaurants will be establish in the area, away from all the hustle and bustle of city life.

(forgotten to take a photo of my yummy birthday cake >.<)

11 Hill Street
Roseville NSW2069
Phone (02)9412 3999

Friday, December 18, 2009

Il locale Blu

"Looks like a lot of people dining there."

Along Blue points road filled with different restaurants, one of them is Il locale blu. The restaurant appears to be really classy with a simple yet very sleek interior decoration. Based on a first glance of the restaurant with a large crowd dining at the front area of Il locale blu, my dad was keen to try this restaurant before looking at what they have to offer on the displayed menu.

complementary bread with balsamic vinegar, olive oil with chili and olives

Waiters standing outside welcomed us warmly to our selected table. Once seated, I looked at the menu straight away. The restaurant certainly offers lots of choices.

Pan fried John dory fillets cooked in white wine & tomato sauce

Pan fried pork fillet with braised eggplant

Squid ink taglatelle cooked with king prawns, chilli & lobster oil

I have chosen the pasta dish, it was a simple dish though I love the the firmness of the pasta with the juicy tomatoes and a hint of chili with the lobster oil gives that extra flavor together with the fresh prawns.
Homemade tiramisu
Tiramisu is probably the most typical Italian dessert, while most people would probably know how to make one including myself. Yet, I ordered it. The cream is so smooth, it is simply delicious.

After all, it is a beautiful restaurant with some great food. Guess my dad's judgment of the restaurant, base on the first impression is correct. Though, I wonder how often people make the decision to try a restaurant base on their looks and not the food they serve?

Il Locale Blu
133-135 Blues Point Road
McMahons Point NSW 2060
Phone (02)9922 2064

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

MuMu Grill

First come across MuMu during the Crows Nest street festival back in October. At that time, they had a big BBQ grill outside the restaurant offering to serve some free range organic split roast pork. However, we weren't able to try it last time. While this time around, R decided to take my dad, whom loves having a good steak and other family members to this steakhouse.

The split roast back in October during the Crowns Nest festival

On the menu, it offers different types of steaks as well as ribs, chicken and fish. Choices, choices and choices. Instead of making my decision straight away, we ordered a vegetarian tapas plate and the Jamon to share while taking our time to select our main.

Vegetarian Tapas plate
Tortilla with olive tapenade, grilled field mushrooms, zucchini flower, roasted almond, vegetables & almonds

Jamon Serrano 18MTH & Catalan Bread

The vegetarian tapas plate was lovely and fresh. I really like the roasted almond which looks like a giant pine nut with a soft texture. For the Jamon serrano, I was just so excited it's on the menu as it is my most favorite dry cured Spanish ham, besides it sure didn't disappoint the dining group at all.
Riverina T-Bone 500G
"Tagliata"seared sliced and finished with rosemary and garlic

Half organic chicken
My mum ordered the chicken. While she is not a big eater, to my surprise she finished the entire dish. The empty plate at the end simply proves it must be one good dish.

Beef fillet 160G
Wrapped in sage and prosciutto, cafe de Paris butter on mashed pontiac potato

The beef fillet is the smallest steak it has to offer on the menu. It was cooked to perfection, goes perfectly well with the beautiful cafe de paris butter, though the steak itself doesn't have a strong beef taste that I would like.

Sirloin 280G
Sourced from the pastures of Millawa

Rib Combo
Beef short ribs with baby baby pork ribs. Meat lovers delight green beans & chips
I had a taste of the rib combo. Love the super soft texture of the meat both pork as well as beef, however, the sauce let the dish down. It was overwhelming sweet with the taste of plum sauce. Even R had to try and scrape off the sauce as much as possible before eating. It doesn't matter how beautiful the ribs are on itself, the sauce totally ruin the dish.

Chocolate and Raspberry square
With wattle seed ice-cream and Belgian chocolate tile

Dessert anyone? Of course ! My chocolate and raspberry square dessert tasted like a mixture between a brownie and fudge. A rich and warm chocolate cake with some sweet and tangy raspberry coulis with a scoop of delicious wattle seed ice- cream which tasted like a mix flavor of hazelnut, light chocolate and coffee.

Brown Sugar pavlova
Topped with fresh pineapple and passionfruit sauce

My sister ordered the brown sugar pavlova. I hesitated to try it at first as I don't really like pineapple. Pineapple always reminds me of its sour taste, but the pineapple was sweet and this pavlova with brown sugar was very light. What a delightful way to conclude our meal.

70 Alexander St
Crows Nest NSW2065
Phone (02)9460 6877

Mumu Grill on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Garfish - Crows Nest

Without water view or spectecular scenary around, Garfish makes up with a comfortable and simple furnishing helps set a relaxing atmosphere, with people sipping wine and enjoying the companions on a a relaxing Sunday afternoon. Our group of four were among the people having a lay back Sunday lunch.

sour dough w/ extra virgin olive oil and zaatar

Bread was searved warm with a dip of olive oil and zaatar. What is zaatar? I'm clusless with many herb, but by looking at the dish of zaata, it seems to be a mix of try herbs with sumac, seaseme seeds and salt.

Crisp Fried soft shell crabs w/ bok choy, coconut and kaffir lime sauce

Soft shell crabs are often used in asian dishes especially Japanese. Perhaps this dish illustrates the so call modern australian cusine with some degree of asian influence. In general, the soft shell crabs were very light and crispy, with coconut and kaffir lime added a very aromatic and astringent flavor to the source
Whole crisp fried baby barramundi w/ bok choy & green curry sauce

Grilled Mirro Dory w/ tomato relish & mash

When the barramundi was served, it gives a 'wow' factor. Just look at the picture! I haven't seen a fish served like this before. Impressive might not be the word I will use to descripe it, perhaps 'different'. Comparatively, the presentaion of the dory seems very simple and ordinary.

Squid ink rag pasta w/ spanner crabb, lemon, parsley and smoked cherry tomatoes

For the pasta dish, not only does it looks great, it smells delicious. Sampled a mouthful of the pasta, immdeiately the lemon and parsley gives a tangy and refreshing taste, which brings out the freshness of the seafood. However, it was a bit too salty. In general, I enjoyed the food and had a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

6/29 Holtermann Street
Crows Nest NSW2065
Phone (02)9966 0445

Garfish on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bodega Tapas Bar

Lucky me , finally got a table at Bodega without the queue. No waiting required? Only because I went during lunch time. Previously, tried to get a table at Bodega with a group of friends for dinner but with no luck. With their no booking policy and only if the entire group arrived, hence not one less person from the group, as well as early arrival at the restaurant thus making it extremely hard for a group of friends dine out together at this popular tapas bar.

The Tapas bar is a lot smaller than I thought, no wonder reservation is not an option. On the high note for this small tapas bar, they have a good selection of tapas to choose from. And they all sounds very tempting for me to try.

Seared scallops with morcilla, braised cabbage and pickled cauliflower

The morcilla was soft in texture with different flavor of spices, together with the perfectly seared scallops and sourness of the pickled cauliflower gives a very lovely taste. A taste that I would love to explore more. However, the top layer of cream together with the rest of the dish makes it taste a bit out of place.

Piquillo peppers stuffed with bacalao

Piquillo pepper gives a really rich, spicy, sweet and sour flavors, stuffed with salt cod brings a unique and perfect taste of Spain.

Steam pork belly with warm salad of onion and shiitake mushroom

At first , the pork looks really fatty and oily, but it's not. Instead, it is very soft and moist and goes well with the beautiful warm salad.

Chocolate ice cream with coffee custard, mango and passionfruit

Last but not least, desserts time. Mango and passionfruit which are in season together with ice-cream and delicious coffee custard, together with the roasted almond makes a perfect playful combination for this hot summer.

This place reminds me of some of the dishes I had and enjoyed a lot when I was in Barcelona last year. Guess instead of traveling all the way to Spain, some fabulous tapas dishes are just doorsteps away.

216 Commonwealth Street
Surry Hills NSW2010
Phone (02)9242 7766

Bodega on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 30, 2009

Deus Ex Machina

I always wanted to learn how to ride a bike, maybe because my dad used to ride one and his adventours stories trigger my interest. However, he himself strongly against me from learning, lucky him, I never come around to it. Still I dream of having my own Harley-Davidson. Althought, realistically this dream is not likely to happen with different reasons, at least for now I could go to Deus Ex Machina and admire their motocycles from classic to custom made or simply purchase their brand clothing with their tradmark - motorcycle of course.

Outside and interior of Deus cafe

Connected to the motocycle showroom is the Deus Cafe, with large communical tables and surrounded by funky artworks and a few different custom motocycles. It is a cafe where I love to hang out with friends for light lunch or simply enjoy their delicious pastry and coffee. Much to my delight, they have now extended their dinning hours to dinner as well.

Buffalo Mozzarella with prosciutto, tomato and roquette

I must be the hungriest among the group, with I'm the only one whom ordered an entree. Even though the serving size for this delightful entree was pretty big, it didn't temp any to try some. Instead my reluctant husband R ended up helping me to finish the dish, though he was happily munching away as he agrees with me the dish was really light and fresh.

Cutlet of kurobuta pork with split peas, barly and kipfler chips

Slow braised beef in balsamic stuffed with tomato, olive on caulifower and mash

Rump of lamb with beetroot relish, silverbeet and lamb jus

Pan roast Barramundi with white beans, pippes and prochetta

We each ordered different main. They all look great and smells wonderful. My barramundi was cooked to perfection. The white beans and pipes seems to have blanched in seafood stock together as it has a stong sweet seafood taste. While the chrispy prochetta gives an extra texture to the dish.

Apple tarte tatin with star anise ice cream

Without doubt, I ordered dessert. Star anise ice cream caught my eyes on the menu. Often, it is used in Chinese dishes but had never thought of star anise would be used as an ice cream flavor. When having this dessert separetely, the ice cream taste bitter and licorice like. While the apple tarte tatin itself had strong carmalised sweetness to it with the cruschy and fluffy base. The combination of both brings a balance between the bitter and sweet taste.

Dinning experience at dinner time was a bit different to their usual dining hours. A bit more formal yet casual at the same time. While their wait staffs were very friendly and helpful. Pricing for each dishes are reasonable, I certainly would come back for dinner again.

Deus Ex Machina
98-104 Parramatta Road
Camperdown NSW2050
Phone (02)9519 3669

Deus Cafe on Urbanspoon