Tag Archives: Sydney

Bacco Osteria e Espresso, Sydney

Bacco Osteria e Espresso is the latest addition to the Angel Place laneway dining district. A cafe/espresso bar in the morning, morphing into a full on restaurant by midday, its small menu is inspired by seasonal ingredients, house-made everything and regional Italian dishes. The food here is simple, delicious and allows the ingredients to shine. Case in point: the artichoke hearts draped over a bed of creamy stracciatella cheese, drizzled with olive oil and served with crostini. Keep an eye out for the specials, like the hand-dived wild Port Phillip scallops which were superbly sweet, and served grilled on the shell with garlic and butter. We ordered all the pastas which were incredible. I thought the standout dish would be the spaghetti alla chitarra with sea urchin (don’t get me wrong, it tasted amazing and reminded me of Chinese ginger and shallot crab, in a good way!), but my favourite was the gnocchi with pistachio and pecorino – a recipe straight from executive chef Andrew Cibej’s nonna. I guess there really is nothing that compares to an Italian nonna’s food!

TL;DR: Italian osteria that prides itself on showcasing local, seasonal produce with amazing house-made pastas.
Favourite dish: Gnocchi, pistachio and pecorino
Would I return?: Yes, most likely for the pastas!

Bacco Osteria e Espresso
2–12/1 Angel Pl
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: + 61 2 9235 3383
Open Monday to Friday, noon to late; Saturday, 5:30pm to midnight

Artichokes, straciatella – $18
Wild Port Phillip scallops – $24
Spaghetti alla chitarra, sea urchin, beach banana – $28
Bucatini, pippies, nduja – $26
Strozzapreti, goat and guanciale ragu – $26
Gnocchi, pistachio, pecorino – $24
Roasted broccoli, house-cured bottarga and chilli – $12

Izakaya Yebisu, Sydney

If you’re attracted by bright lights, Japanese food, and alcoholic drinks, then you’ll gravitate towards Izakaya Yebisu like a moth to the flame. Settle down with a Japanese chu hai (shochu cocktail) or a drink from the sake trolley, and go nuts with the huge touchscreen menu. There’s a mix of classics like sushi, uzusukuri (thinly sliced sashimi) and gyoza, or go for something a bit more adventurous like the deep fried takoyaki balls, served with a mini skillet of beef curry and melted cheese! While you’re at it, take advantage of the charcoal grill in the kitchen and order all the yakitori, the yaki onigiri (grilled rice ball) and toasted mochi rice cakes wrapped in crisp nori seaweed. Don’t forget about dessert either – the daifuku ice cream is the bomb and if you’re a Washoku Lovers member, you can also get freshly fried tempura ice cream for only $2! Bargain.

TL;DR: Japanese izakaya in the heart of the CBD with a huge menu
Favourite dish: Green tea daifuku ice cream – green tea ice cream wrapped in a chewy mochi ‘pastry’
Would I return?: Maybe for drinks and a few bar snacks

Penguin says Feed Me dined at Izakaya Yebizu as a guest of Washoku Lovers.

Izakaya Yebisu
Shop 7-10, 501 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: + 61 2 9266 0301
Open 7 days, 12pm – 11pm

A Japanese alleyway?
Inside Izakaya Yebisu
Sake trolley!
Kachiwari lemon chuhai – $7.80 (front) and Iichiko Yuzu on the rocks – $7 (back)
Kingfish usuzukuri – $18.80
Toasted rice cake – $5.80
Tsukune (chicken meat ball) with poached egg – $5.80
Yaki onigiri – $5.80
Takoyaki with beef curry and cheese – $9.80
Pan fried pork gyoza with ponzu sauce – $8.80
Green tea daifuku ice cream – $5.80
Tempura ice cream – $2 (with Washoku Lovers offer)
Totoro!

Cirrus Dining, Barangaroo

I’m back! Yes – I’m well aware that every time I say I’m “back”, I end up disappearing for another 6 months before the next blog post. So I’m going to try something different and change up the format a little bit. There will still be the same food photos but less of my ranting. Enjoy!

Make sure to pick a beautiful sunny day to go to Cirrus as you’ll be rewarded with a gorgeous harbourfront views and the natural light streaming through the windows. There’s a focus on sustainable seafood on the menu, with oysters, crustaceans, fish, and caviar for those who are feeling baller! We try a little bit of everything with the Cirrus Platter, with the staff more than happy to adjust the platter to accommodate the number of diners. Cirrus’ fancier take on fish and chips with the whole flathead and chips is also stunning, with a whole deboned flathead fried to a crisp so that you can even eat the tail and fins. But the standout for me was really the marron with its sweet flesh punctuated with yuzu, tomato and pops of finger lime. Totally worth the splurge!

TL;DR: Waterfront fine dining with a focus on sustainable seafood
Favourite dish: Grilled WA marron with yuzukosho, tomato oil and finger lime
Would I return?: Yes, for a special occasion

Cirrus Dining
23 Barangaroo Avenue
Barangaroo NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9220 0111
Open 7 days
Lunch from 12pm, Dinner from 6pm

Smoked Ocean Trout Parfait + Fennel Pollen + Pickled Onions – $24
Cirrus Platter: Oysters + Tiger Prawns + Kingfish + Scallop Tartare + Pickled Mussels + Accompaniments – $150 (for 5 people, normally $120 for 4)
So much seafood!
Grilled WA Marron + Yuzukosho + Tomato Oil + Finger Lime – $42
Whole Flathead + Chips – $38
Coal Roasted Hapuka + Native Spice + Aromatic Broth – $48

Bennelong, Sydney

When I found out that Guillaume by Bennelong was closing, I was sad that I never managed to eat there before it closed, even though it was definitely on my wishlist. There was a lot of back and forth about who exactly was going to take over the iconic Opera House space, so when The Fink Group re-opened Bennelong under the helm of Peter Gilmore, I was so ready to book a table.

This proved more difficult than it sounded, because even though it’s been six months since it first opened, Bennelong shows no signs of slowing down. We had to book a couple of months in advance just to find a Saturday night booking that was at a reasonable time (i.e. not a 9.30pm booking), and so it wasn’t until late last year that we managed to finally sit down and enjoy our meal there.

There’s a choice of dining in the Cured and Cultured area or in the Restaurant. We chose to go down the Restaurant route, which meant that we were seated on the lower level of the dining area underneath the soaring glass windows that give you unparalleled views of the Bridge and Sydney harbour. The three course a la carte menu will set you back $130pp with about 6 different dishes to choose from per course.

Grilled Lady Elliot Island bug, organic turnips, radishes, XO sauce

The first thing that strikes me with each dish is that it is impeccably plated. Every dish is styled to perfection, so that your eyes can feast on the food before your stomach does. The grilled Lady Elliot Island bug is no exception, with a golden piece of the bug meat draped over turnips, pink baby radishes and micro herbs. The XO sauce really accentuates the seafood flavours of the dish, and complements the sweet, juicy bug meat nicely.

Smoked Blackmore Wagyu tartare, fermented chilli paste, cultured cream & grains, mushrooms, seaweed, egg
Continue reading Bennelong, Sydney

nel. restaurant, Sydney

I’m far from what people would call a decisive person, and these days we are so spoiled for choice that even deciding what to eat for lunch can turn into a lengthy process of elimination to figure out exactly what I want.

It was a pleasant surprise then, to walk into nel. to find that there was no choice to make. Nel serves an 8 course tasting menu for $88, and we were more than happy to leave our meal in the capable hands of chef Nelly Robinson.

Menu

We were ushered to our table in the small, underground space where the restaurant was situated. The 8 course menu for the night was already placed on the table when we sat down, and aside from asking whether there were any food allergies or intolerances, there were no more questions and we were ready to get started on the food!

Vinegar, parmesan

Our first course was a series of snacks which came out in quick succession. The first snack was a cloud-like vinegar marshmallow rolled in airy pieces of grated parmesan. It dissolved in the mouth so quickly it just left an impression of sour vinegar and cheesy parmesan on the tongue.

Goma hollandaise, ham

The next snack was a black, gnarly-looking cigar, which actually turned out to be a beef cheek and ox tongue croquette with charcoal. Each cigar was dipped in the goma (sesame) hollandaise topped with bits of ham, which had a nice salty and nutty flavour.

Truffle, rabbit

The last snack consisted of two parts – a truffle and rabbit pastry and a rabbit consomme. These were surprisingly light in flavour, but a good warm up for the dishes to come.

Bread and butter

I usually don’t bother taking photos of the bread and butter, but here at nel it was pretty exceptional. First of all, the bread was a dark black colour, and the waitstaff explained that this was black pudding and onion bread. To be honest I couldn’t taste a definitive black pudding flavour, but it was delicious nonetheless and I could have eaten a whole basket of it!

Crab, “taste of pimms”, cucumber, strawberry, mint
Continue reading nel. restaurant, Sydney