Friday, December 31, 2010

Bistro Moncur in Woollahra

This is an absolute favourite of mine and I keep going back as the food is always good and the service excellent. Although it is attached to a pub it has a great ambiance about it and the chef Damien Pignolet is well known and an icon in Sydney. I had the pleasure of going their just before xmas for lunch and if you do not already know you are unable to book so first in best dressed. I seem to always have the same entree as there is nothing like it anywhere else. I have the Blue swimmer Crab and sweetcorn Omelette with Beurre Noisette, which is very light and rich in taste, its one of those dishes that you do not wish to finish. For a main I have the Sirloin Cafe De Paris done medium rare. For dessert I have the Eve's Chocolate cake which has a story of its own. Apparently Damian wanted the recipe for the cake but Eve would not supply it until she wanted one of his so they swapped recpies and now we have the benefit of a wonderful dessert. The wine list is also good and worth having a browse. I rate this an 8/10 as I am yet to have a bad meal here over many years.

East Ocean chinese NYE experience

We decided with a couple of friends to go into Darling Harbour last night to see the fireworks etc and to take in some of the new year spirit. We were all a bit nervous about driving in and then making our way through the crowds and then finding somewhere to eat. Well let me tell you it was fine and we had an excellent night. We decided to get into town about 5pm and head to Chinatown where we met up with another couple, to have a drink and then find somewhere to eat. Chinatown was a buzz, the place was packed and there were food stalls up and down Dixon Street selling Dim Sum and kebabs etc. We stopped in at the pub on the corner of Dixon street and Hay street called of all things "Covent Gardens" and had a few beers (the pub was not packed at all). We then started looking for somewhere to eat and decided to go into East Ocean which has always been a favourite of mine for yum cha and to my surprise we got a table for 6 as they were also not all that busy. The food as always was good from the roast duck to the Bokchoy and mushroom dish for Jenny our vegetarian friend. Good service which is not always what you get here especially at Yum Cha time and overall a very pleasant experience. I have rated this a 6/10

We managed to pull ourselves away from the food and we finally got to Darling Harbour to see some of the fireworks at 9pm with about a million other people. Although there were lots of people we found getting through the crowd easy and well managed. All in all a great night out and we will  be doing the same again next year. so thank you to Jo, Denis, Peter and Jenny for a wonderful night.

Happy new year to all.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quanjude Queen St Melbourne

If you are looking a for a great Chinese restaurant out of the hussel and bussel of Little Bourke St then try this one which is on Queen St. This was recommended to me by a friend and it is a welcome change to the normal chinese you get. The waiter was very friendly and told us the story of the restaurant which apparently is a chain in Beijing and this one is an exact replica of the one in Beijing. Their speciality is Peking Duck which we tried of course and it was very good. However, all of the dishes were good and served up in individual portions. I understand that the Flower Drum is hard to beat but this is worth a visit. Suggest you also try some of the vegetarian dishes which were inventive and very nice. From heavy chlli to sweet and sour I think this place is well presented. Service was excellent and I rate this a 7.5/10.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Boathouse at Blackwattle Bay

This has always been a favourite of mine in particular because of the Snapper Pie. Yes it is it's signature dish and so it should be, as it is delicious. A word of caution though it is very rich in truffle and cream so it is not for anyone with a weak stomach. They specialise in Oysters which come in a number of different options however the Sydney rock are always the sweetest and best.The service is excellent and the wine list just ok. The dinning experience is worth a visit as the view and ambiance makes it a great place for lunch. Not so much for dinner.Overall it rates a 6/10. If you do not want the pie there are a number of other dishes worth a try but it lacks something ?

Manta at Woolloomooloo

This was quite good especially since we were sitting near Megan Gail. However, back to the food. This time of the year I am told that John Dory is spawning and so it is very fat and juicy. Now even though that sounds quite awful I decided to try it. It was very good and was presented well and agree if you see it on a menu around this time suggest you order it. I also had their house smoked salmon as an entree and it was also something special. Service was good given how busy it was and rates a 8/10.

I must say that all the restaurants in this area are good and worth visiting.

Cutler & Co, Melbourne

This restaurant in Melbourne has it all.   Great service, great wine list and sensational food. I suggest you have the degustation because you do not want to miss out on any of the tastes generated by this fabulous chef!  Of all the restaurants and all of the cafes in Australia, and i go to a few, this is definately my number 1. rates 9/10