Tag Archives: European

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Essen, Ultimo

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the snow for the first time since I was a kid and I got hooked. We went two weekends in a row, and because we couldn’t stop thinking about it, we are planning to go again before the season ends. I am officially a snow addict. So an alpine lodge setting for dinner at Essen seemed perfect for our snow-addled brains (there was a ski on the wall which I got stupidly excited about!).

Essen – the home of bier and the Schnitzilla challenge

Essen provides loads of bier and hearty food in a homely setting which was the perfect start to our non-skiing weekend. I’m not usually a bier drinker but the Mango Weizen bier provided enough sweetness for me to down the whole thing. Sir D went for the the more traditional Rodeberger Pilsner Saxony bier, available on tap at Essen. Also featured at Essen is the Schnitzilla challenge – a whopping 3.5kg mountain of schnitzel, sauerkraut and potato roesti to be finished by one person in one sitting!

Pilze – $8.50

We’re not game enough to face the Schnitzilla so we take the easy way out with a few entrees. The crumbed button mushrooms are deliciously crunchy on the outside but with meaty, juicy innards. The saffron aioli is a sunny yellow blob on the side, and is a nice creamy accompaniment to the mushrooms.

Knobli Brot – $5

I’m intrigued by the Knobli Brot – a Swiss garlic bread with Gruyère and paprika. I was imagining a piece of garlic bread oozing with melty gruyere on top, but instead its just a bit of grated Gruyère that garnishes the bread. It is garlicky though, and the smokiness of the paprika is a unique twist on your standard garlic bread.

Camembert – $10
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Etch dining

Etch, Sydney

Seating and decor inside Etch

It feels good to finally cross off another item from my mental list of restaurants to go to. Justin North’s Etch has long been one of those restaurants that I’ve heard about, read about and drooled over but I’ve never had the opportunity to dine at. Tonight we’re celebrating Sir D’s new job with dinner at Etch in the quirky dining room adjoining the Intercontinental Hotel.

Beetroot cured Petuna ocean trout, horseradish cream, baby beetroot

We decide to go with the degustation menu which includes 6 courses for $85 (now $90 I believe) or $125 for 6 courses plus matched wines (now $135). Not long after ordering, the first course arrives and it’s a beautiful dish of Petuna ocean trout which has been cured in beetroot to give it a pink hue. This is served with baby beetroot and baby radish, a streak of beetroot puree and a quenelle of horseradish cream to give the dish a nice kick.

Duck terrine, pickled cherries, coffee reduction
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