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MCA Cafe, The Rocks

Sydney has been showing off it’s beautiful summer weather lately with blue skies and the sun shining down. It makes me want to come out of hibernation and head outside to enjoy the sun. Charm and I did exactly that when we headed out one weekend to check out the Little Black Jacket exhibition, and we grabbed a bite to eat beforehand at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Cafe.

Cafe interior

We arrived quite late in the day and many of the menu items had already sold out. There were still some tempting dishes though, like the carb-on-carb Oven-baked mac & cheese with bread and the Pea & fontina arancini (which we immediately regretted not ordering when we saw it come out in an egg carton!). In the end, we decided to get two dishes to share which was the perfect amount for a light lunch.

Crispy salt & pepper cuttlefish with garlic aioli – $16
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Honeymoon Dessert, Hong Kong

I don’t generally like Asian desserts – the beans and the soupy things don’t do it for me. But, I do have a soft spot for glutinous rice and mochi desserts so everytime I’m in Hong Kong, I head to Honeymoon Dessert for a sugar hit.

We arrive around 11pm on a Friday night and it is packed… so packed that there are people spilling out of the shopfront waiting for a table. The branch that we go to has limited seating (as with most of the other ones that I’ve been to) but the turnover is fast so it’s not too long before we have a table.

Papaya and white fungus soup

Mango glutinous dumplings
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Tokonoma, Surry Hills

Walking into Tokonoma is a bit like walking into a club. You push open the heavy, wooden front door and you enter a room full of darkness and funky music. It doesn’t make for great photos or seeing what you’re actually eating, but the atmosphere is intimate and moody. We’re here at Tokonoma on a coincidental double date, as we found out that we both purchased the group-buy voucher for a degustation for two for $99. We were also able to swap out our complimentary bottle of wine for glasses of sake instead, which was more to our liking.

Edamame; Salmon tartare

We start with a few appetisers, which include some edamame and salmon tartare. The salmon tartare is delicious mouthful of chopped raw salmon, melded together with a mild wasabi miso and topped with salmon roe which pop in the mouth.

Beef tataki
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Best Ever Choc Chip Cookies

I take no credit for these cookies. I seem to be fine with rolled cookies (like sugar cookies and gingerbread), but when I try to make chocolate chip cookies, they always seem to turn as hard as rocks by the next day. So these choc chip cookies here are entirely the work of Sir D, who ended up having to bake these because he lost a bet with me (ha!).

I’m lucky to have a boy who can bake, because these were the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever tasted. Were they the result of the awesome recipe by Jacques Torres (aka Mr Chocolate) or due to Sir D’s hidden baking talents? We’ll never know, but I do know that they were soft, with slightly crisp edges, incredibly chocolatey and so addictive. I swear that Sir D had scoffed down about 4 of them within 5 minutes of them being ready. The best thing about these cookies though is that if you can stop yourself eating them all straight out of the oven, they’re just as good the day after.

The original recipe makes large (around 12cm wide) cookies, but we wanted normal sized cookies (and also the quantities seemed rather large) so we decided to halve the recipe. Once we bit into the cookies though, we were sorry that we made half the dough, because it meant fewer cookies for us to eat! You can keep this dough refrigerated for up to 3 days or roll the dough into balls and freeze them. But trust me, you won’t have to do that because the cookies will be gone before you know it.

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O Bar & Dining, Sydney

It’s been a bit quiet on the blog lately but I assure you all is well. Actually, it’s even better than well, because as of tomorrow, I will be free of uni assignments, theses and lectures! But I have developed quite a substantial backlog of photos and yet-to-be-written posts so expect to see more of these in the coming weeks.

Views from O Bar & Dining

We recently dined at the new O Bar and Dining, which is located in what used to be Summit Restaurant. O Bar and Dining retains the chef (Michael Moore), the stunning views over Sydney and the revolving restaurant, but has undergone a revamp to make it a little more hip and casual.

Market Fresh cocktails

What makes it different from Summit in that it has a new lounge section which offers bar snacks and delicious cocktails for those who like their drinks with a view. As well as the traditional cocktail list, O Bar and Dining have Market Fresh cocktails which are made from seasonal fruits and so change very frequently. On the day we visited, we were treated to a rockmelon and mint daiquiri and a blood orange cocktail with yuzu – both of which were easy to drink (we liked them so much we ended up having another!)

Mixed Tacos (tuna, soy, chilli; kingfish, coriander, avocado; sticky beef rib; prawn mayo) – $22

The menu at O Bar and Dining is based on Michael Moore’s healthy eating philosophy and the recipes from his book, Blood Sugar. This isn’t immediately obvious to us as we munch on some assorted corn tacos from the bar menu, but when we peruse the main restaurant menu, we see that it’s full of healthy low GI grains, vegetables and quinoa.

Salmon tataki – $26
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