Thursday, March 31, 2011
For my main I had selected the Pan seared Prawns with Ravioli of Spinach and Ricotta. Roast garlic pods, parsley, saffron aioli and pinenuts. Though the prawns were plentiful, fresh and deveined, I was disappointed with this dish. For an establishment that prides themselves on seafood, you want this component to shine rather than obscuring it with layers of rustically chopped aromatic ingredients, you want to see your seafood. I didn't realise I even had additional prawns until I started shifting through my meal as the prawns were sliced in half and unrecognisable under the sauce. I really wanted something more from Gambaro's and it was unfortunately lacklustre with the bread and service being the only shining beacons. Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Address: 33 Caxton Street, Paddington, QLD 4000.
Open: Lunch 11:30am - 3pm, Monday - Friday. Dinner from 5:30pm, Monday - Saturday.
Phone: (07) 3369 9500
Price: Entree $6.50 - $39.00, Main $26.50 upwards.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I decided to select the 'Number 1' which was a beef pattie, lettuce, tomato, relish and aioli served between soft bread. The waiter kindly brought me a glass of water while I waited for my meal. My burger arrived shortly after and was served on top of a simple piece of grease proof paper, stamped with FaB's half cow, half fish logo. All the ingredients were fresh and homely but I found the relish quite viscose so it was a tad messy to eat. But that's the joy of burgers and I'm sure it amused passers by. I've only had a mere taste of FaB Fish and Burger but I'm more than happy to go back and have another helping.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Address: The Barracks, Petrie Terrace, Paddington, QLD 4000.
Open: 7 Days a Week. 12:00pm - Late.
Phone: (07) 3367 8088.
Price: Burgers from $9.95.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Perched on the banks of the Brisbane River, Watt is a glorious location to watch the evening fall. If you have a show to catch and book at 6pm, you can take up Watt's Dusk Dining offer of two courses (entree and main or main and dessert) for $45. Angie and I decided we would select entree and main and selected the 'Cured Ocean Trout, Creme Fraiche, Cucumber and Mint' (pictured above). This dish was my favourite as it was so well balanced, soothing and beautifully presented.
I was feeling rather hungry so decided a robust manly meal was the solution and ordered the 'Roast Pork Loin, Mustard Spatzle and Apples.' Pork and apple is a classic combination and despite my hunger the portion size was a little overwhelming. The crackling was glorious and for those who haven't had tried spatzle, it is a soft textured European noodle and reminds me of gnocchi but without the potato texture.
The Market Fish was Blue Eye Cod and came served with a Panzanella Salad and Salsa Verde. Angie reported it was a lovely dish and while we were tempted by the dessert menu decided to be good and headed to the show on time and content with the meal.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Address: 119 Lamington Street, New Farm, QLD 4005.
Open: Breakfast: Saturday & Sunday, 8.00 am to 10.30 am. Lunch: Tuesday - Sunday from 12.00 pm. Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday from 6.00 pm.
Phone: (07) 3358 5464
Price: Entree: $16 - $40, Mains: $24 - $34, Desserts: $12 - $14.
This piece of visual splendor weighs 18kgs and is a six-volume, 2,400 page molecular gastronomy how-to book by The Cooking Lab's team Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet. Its taken a team of 46, five years to produce and features 1,522 recipes, 3,216 photographs and reported to have cost $10 million to produce.
Reviewers might be raving about this book but don't expect me to be cooking anything from it any time soon with a 30 hour hamburger recipe and must have equipment including liquid nitrogen, a centrifuge and a tabletop homogenizer!
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
This particular evening I was planning to take the over the world by baking an army of gingerbread ninjas and I started by doubling this recipe from Taste.com. I beat 250g butter with 1 cup of brown sugar until it was creamy, before adding 2 egg yolks and one cup of golden syrup.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Montrachet has sitting times, so we settled down to business of ordering quickly and I decided on the Carré d’Agneau and the Grand Marnier Souffle. The Carré d’Agneauis comprised of a baked lamb rack resting on cauliflower puree, a petite lamb pie and carrot jus. The lamb was well seasoned and moist and the pastry of the petite lamb pie was just divine. If that pie was my last meal on Earth, I'd be pretty happy and all the dishes were served with fresh bread to allow you fully savour the rich sauces.
The Souffle was the dessert du jour at our table and it was beautifully presented and light. Though it wasn't a bad execution, I felt the example I was presented with at Alchemy was of a higher standard. The evening was full of good company and merriment but sadly the experienced by damaged at the end of the evening by the waitress.
We waited patiently for our change and after an extended period of time decided to enquire. The waitress returned with the change and stiffly commented, "ordinarily that would have been a tip." We were all taken aback by the rudeness and it disappointing to end the evening on that note. Montrachet is beautiful, the food is gorgeous but it obvious that the venue has a skewed perception of profits and dining experience. There is no where for customers to wait with the bar area being utilised for dining and the wait staff must slide the tables out to allow guests to maneuver in and out. Montrachet is still worth a look and would have rated as a lower end 4.5 star experience bar the final exchange.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Address: 224 Given Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064.
Open: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 12pm. Dinner: Monday - Thursday: Sittings at 6pm and 8:30pm.
Phone: (07) 3367 0030.
Price: Entrees: $12 - $28. Main: $38 - $42. Desserts: $9.60.
I will admit upfront the dining area inside Pancho's is not pretty, it's dark and the decor is dated but the food makes up for it. We ordered two pizzas (including the Supreme Pizza, pictured above), the Ribs and Cheese filled Garlic Bread. The Cheese filled Garlic Bread is a Pancho's Pizza must have, it's full of gooey cheese and if you're going to have a heart attack, you must as well do it properly.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Address: 102 Oxford Street, Bulimba, QLD 4171.
Phone: (07) 3399 9149
Price: Pizza - $11.50 - $19.50
While the nuts and spices were roasting in the oven I cut my sheets of filo pastry to the size of a shallow baking pan, melted some butter and started to prepare the dish by laying three sheets of filo pastry for the base. Each sheet is lightly brushed with butter, before laying one third of the nut mixture and repeating the process until you finish with the filo pastry on top. So now you should have completed all three layers. Use a sharp knife to cut your tray into even squares and then halve the squares to form triangles. Pop the entire tray into the oven for 20 minutes.
Under no circumstances should you order the tea. I am always baffled when I am served an awful cup of tea but honestly this one tasted like someone had stolen the contents of Nana's dusty potpourri while was attending church and added water. It was horrid and I struggle through my two sips. So just have breakfast and you'll be fine.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Address: 41 Kennedy Street, Kingston, ACT 2604.
Open: Tuesday - Sunday. Breakfast and lunch.
Phone: (02) 6239 6200
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Address: Bowen Park Carpark, Bowen Drive/Wentworth Avenue, Barton ACT 2604.
Open: Lunch - Tuesday - Sunday: 12:00pm - 2pm. Dinner - Wednesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - midnight.
Phone: 0424 635 824
Price: From $9
Thursday, March 17, 2011
To summarise, Kingston Grind: good coffee and a passable breakfast selection. If you're heading there for breakfast I would suggest having a look at the pastry cabinet ... they looked gorgeous.Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
Address: Cusask Avenue, Kingston, Canberra, ACT 2604.
Open: 7 days a week. 8am - 4:30pm.
Phone: (02) 6295 8189.
I chose the 'Seared Barramundi with a ragout of Eden Bay mussels, Brocollini, kipfler potatoes and a Champagne buerre blanc' and wasn't disappointed. After the breaking the well seasoned crisp skin with my knife, the flesh was beautifully soft and complimented the champagne buerre blanc sauce. The Eden Bay mussels were gorgeous and reminded me of the flavoursome green lipped mussels I used to enjoy in my youth. Ah when seafood was economical!
I've always been a bit of fan of the traditional warm chocolate fondant and the Sabayon version came with fresh raspberries and pistachio malt ice cream. The ice cream was well paired as the pistachio malt flavours cut through the richness of the chocolate. It's a great venue after a long work week and provides satisfaction in the form of chocolate or in the lovely Michelle's case the vanilla bean creme brulee.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Address: Shop 4, Melbourne Building, West Row, Canberra, ACT 2501.
Open: Lunch - Tuesday - Friday: 12pm - 3pm. Dinner - Tuesday - Saturday: 6:30pm - 11pm.
Phone: (02) 6247 8212.
Price: Entrees - $18. Mains - $32. Desserts - $15.
I was sorely tempted by the idea of the 'Ricotta hotcakes, fresh banana and honeycomb butter' but I decided to selected the 'Sweet corn fritters, roast tomato, spinach and bacon.' The corn fritters were light as was held together minimal batter and had lovely savoury accents from small pieces of capsicum. While it wasn't health food it was a delicious start to the day.
Overall I really enjoyed my trip to Bill's but my only disappointment was the burnt coffee. The barista obviously tried as my mocha had a lovely melted chocolate base and a gorgeous leaf formation on the top, but burnt coffee is easily avoid by selecting the correct temperature setting. Burnt coffee is a sin ... but I'm a forgiving foodie. Bill's is still definitely worth a visit.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Address: 433 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010.
Open: Monday - Saturday: 7:30am - 3:00pm. Sunday: 8:30am - 3:00pm.
Phone: (02) 9360 9631.
Price: Breakfast: $5.50 - $18.50.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The image above is the creamed butter and sugar. I would recommend using a mix master rather than a hand beater for this project.
After completing the original cake mixture you can move onto portioning the batter into separate bowls and dying it with gel food colouring. It is important that you use gels to gain the intensity of colour and you can purchase these from Wheel and Barrow or Matchbox. I would recommend using at least two spring form pans to complete this process and lining them so the sponge releases easily. It is also important to ensure the batter is perfectly smooth as the high level of sugar in this recipe cause the sponge to burn easily.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
There are two ways to enjoy Quay and they are via the eight dish, Tasting Menu at $220 per person or the four course menu (there are five choices per course) for $155. Ryan and I decided to go down the four course menu and every bite was just exquisite. Here are some photographs from the evening.
The Sea Pearls are a signature Quay dish comprising of crab, smoked eel, octopus, sea scallop and sashimi tuna. Enjoyment is gained from the taste, texture and finite details such as the delicate flowers and the ruffle of edible silver.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Address: Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000.