One thing that always strikes me when I enter Ocean Room is the stunning view of the Opera House from the glass windows of the restaurant. But it’s not all about the view – Ocean Room also serves up some fantastic Japanese food, and we’re here tonight to try out their new 12-course tasting menu.
Cocktails: Spicy Fifty – $18 and Rouge Royale – $20
We start off with some of Ocean Room’s new and tasty cocktails, since there’s 2 for 1 cocktails between 6-7pm every night. The Spicy Fifty is a drink with a brown sugar shochu base, elderflower, vanilla and a slight heat from the chilli. The Rouge Royale is a sweet combination of peach, strawberry, cognac, bitters and sparkling wine, with a spring of rosemary stuck in the drink for good measure.
We kick start our dinner with two freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters, with Guinness (yes, the beer), Japanese myoga ginger and a Yamazaki ‘silk’ made from whiskey. The alcoholic additions are surprisingly subtle which lets the natural flavour of the oysters shine through.
One of the dangers of going on holiday is that there are always so many places I want to eat at. Three square meals a day just isn’t enough time so I manage to squeeze in a few snacks here and there, leaving me ridiculously full after each day. Oh well – it is a holiday after all! My last trip to Melbourne included snacks like fries, cupcakes and chocolate. Round 2 of Melbourne Snackage is about all things sweet… get ready for some macarons, doughnuts, cakes and more macarons!
Our first stop is LuxBite in South Yarra – and the first thing that catches my eye is the rainbow of macarons in the glass cabinet. There are lots of flavours, several of which are unique to LuxBite, which makes it difficult to choose just a few.
Endless Love – $8.50
Near the macaron display is a wall of pretty cakes. We ogle at the cake display for a while before choosing a pretty ispahan-inspired dessert called Endless Love. It’s sweet but not overly so, with a delicate lychee ganache, rose cream, chunks of lychee and fresh raspberries providing a bit of tartness.
LuxBite macarons – $2.50 each
I love the tacos and cheesy hot dogs at El Loco at the Excelsior Hotel, but I’m pretty excited that El Loco has also opened a permanent outpost in the heart of the CBD at Slip Inn.
Assorted tacos – all $6; Chorizo quesadilla – $7
There’s the usual tacos, with the option of substituting the tortilla with a lettuce cup. El Loco’s secret taco (top right) also features on the menu – and tonight I think it’s an ox tongue taco. Don’t be put off by the offal because it is seriously delicious! We also try the breakfast taco which has chorizo and a fried egg with salsa roja and guacamole.
Passionfruit Batida – $14.50
Posted in Reviews
Tagged Mexican, Sydney
Now that we’re experiencing a cooler change in the weather, I’m starting to crave more comfort foods. One of my ultimate comfort foods is lasagne – I mean, what’s not to love about a rich and saucy mince layered between pasta sheets and that creamy, cheesy bechamel? I’ve tried out a few lasagne recipes over the years, but this Neil Perry one is definitely my favourite.
When I’m not gorging on the whole lasagne myself (spread out over a few nights…. of course), this is my go-to dish when I have guests over. It’s easy to make, and most of it can be prepared in advance which means there’s no freaking out in the kitchen in the 30 minutes before people arrive, because your lasagne is just sitting in the oven cooking. While the recipe looks lengthy, it is actually quite a simple dish to make if you break it down into its components.
I like to serve the lasagne with a simple rocket salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic, and a glass of red wine. So far it’s been a crowd pleaser – and it makes so much that there’s always leftovers for the next day, which taste even better :)
While researching places to eat in Melbourne, I came across Purple Peanuts Cafe which serves tasty and healthy Japanese food at affordable prices. As luck would have it, we found that Purple Peanuts Cafe was actually located just around the corner from where we were staying, and so it was the first place we hit after arriving in Melbourne.
Beef curry soba – $9
Don’t be scared by quirky decor, which includes a giant stuffed octopus perched on top of the drinks cabinet. Line up at the counter and choose from the selection brown-rice sushi rolls and salads in the window, or pick something from the brown paper menu stuck on the walls behind the counter. Some of the hot dishes include this beef curry soba, which is definitely a winter warmer dish that arrives steaming hot in a bowl. The beef curry smells amazing and there’s a nice sprinkling of fried shallots on top.
Prawn salad – $9.50