A belated Merry Christmas to everyone and an early Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a delicious Christmas – we celebrated with multiple feasts including a family Christmas Eve dinner at our place which featured this flourless chocolate with fresh summer strawberries and a dusting of icing sugar.
But a new year will be upon us soon so it’s time for a roundup of my favourite eats from 2013! We started off the year with a very special meal at Sepia to celebrate our anniversary and it was one of the most amazingly delicious and perfectly executed meals I’ve eaten. It’s hard to pick out highlights when everything was so good but the chocolate forest dessert was really something special. I’ve been raving about it and recommending it to people ever since!
You can tell that the love of food runs in my blood since it was Mum that first introduced me to this new find. Izakaya Masuya takes its name from its sister restaurant next door, Masuya, which I’ve been to many times and never been disappointed. The smaller, more informal izakaya has an extensive menu of small dishes perfect for sharing and nibbling on with sake or a Japanese beer.
We start with one of the dishes from the daily specials menu which includes sashimi that is sourced fresh that day from the fish markets. We choose the yellowtail sashimi which includes five slices served on a bed of crushed ice with some freshly grated wasabi.
Yes you heard right… Buns AND Balls. Get your minds out of the gutter people – we’re talking burger buns and meatballs here! And that’s exactly what the new Buns & Balls in Potts Point offers – a selection of tasty meatballs and juicy burgers.
Of course before we get into the buns and balls, we have a couple of drinks. At Buns & Balls, they have freshly made juice cocktails and we choose to sample the pineapple, ginger beer, vodka and bitters one first. I’m not a huge fan of ginger but thankfully this isn’t too gingery, and it’s also not tooth-achingly sweet because of the acidity from the pineapple juice. The watermelon, lime and vodka cocktail is equally as refreshing and is perfect for the upcoming warm summer nights.
We tried a selection of the meatballs on offer, as well as some of the spicy Louisiana wings. I enjoyed the barramundi croquettes with tartare sauce which reminded me a little bit of fish fingers. The crispy tofu balls were bathed in the deep fryer for a nice crispy outside and firm tofu on the inside. Both the chicken meatballs and wings used the same hotsauce and blue cheese dipping sauce, so they tasted very similar, though I preferred the wings to the chicken meatballs. The beef and pork meatballs with napoletana sauce and grated cheese on top were by far my favourite, reminding me of a classic meatball made by an Italian nonna!
Would you like a side of theatre with your dinner? If that’s your thing, be sure to order the market fresh guacamole ($9) from Mejico. Watch in delight as the waitress comes over to your table with all the raw ingredients – a halved avocado, chopped Spanish onion, lime and chopped coriander – and mashes it up ceremoniously in a molcajete (a mortar and pestle).
We’ve actually ordered three guacamoles tonight, because that’s how much we love avocado. Although only one of them is made at the table, it doesn’t make it any less delicious or fresh as we all pile it on top of the accompanying plantain chips. There’s nothing better than freshly made guacamole, and a testament to that is that we were literally scraping every last bit from the molcajete with a spoon.
After seeing pictures of crab boil in plastic bags and watching Adam Richman on Man vs. Food hammering the crap out of crawfish to get the meat (and making a giant mess in the process), I was super excited about the prospect of crab boil coming to Sydney.
Last week, the Drink n Dine group opened their newest venture, the House of Crabs, on the 1st floor of The Norfolk in Redfern. As expected from a place called “House of Crabs”, there’s plenty of crustaceans to be had in a variety of sauces, but for the non-seafood lovers out there, rest assured there’s also steak and some damn good fried chicken ($18) as well.