Saturday, April 16, 2016

Claire's Kitchen

This is one restaurant I have been wanting to go to for a while and I  am glad I went. It has a wonderful ambiance elegant without going over the top.

So we arrived and was seated at a large table in a cubicle as there was 4 of us and then the  waitress lit the large chandelier in the middle of the table which shone light onto the table. A great start to the night .

The menu was quite big and they also had some specials so there is plenty to choose from. Everything is French so well done. I ordered the salmon entree which was nice but not great the others were also happy with theirs. I also ordered 6 escargot which was the highlight.

For main I had lamb rack which was served cold and the potatoes were under cooked however it was still very tasty. The pork cutlet and the lamb rump was also very good.

The wine list is reasonable and varied in price which was good. The waiters were all very friendly and French so the experience was good. The only real negative for the night was the service which was too slow and not all the meals came out together which explains why they were cold.

I would go back and try again. I would give them 5/10 for service and 7/10 for food.

Claire's Kitchen
35 Oxford st
Surry hills

Monday, January 25, 2016

Ananas Restaurant - Sydney Rocks

It's been a year since I was last here and I wondered if it was as good as it was. I was not disappointed it has kept its French charm and the food was excellent . I started with escargot which were very tasty but not near enough as they were delightful. My colleague had the Seared Tuna Salad which was very good. We both had a simple steak but it was cooked to perfection medium rare with good caramelisation on top. This was served with a few sides which were just as good.

The wine list was reasonable as was the price and the service was good without being intrusive. It is somewhere that you take your partner for a romantic dinner but it has has a buzz about it so you feel like you could be in France. It gets my tick of approval and I will return. I would have taken more photos but the food was so good I ate too fast and forgot. By the way my business colleague really liked it as well and was very complimentary about the food and service. So well done Ananas.

Seared Tuna Salad


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Estelle - Melbourne

I have been here about 5 times which is much more than I normally do simply because the food is so good. I think we all know of Scott Pickett the chef and his reputation is second to none. This is his main restaurant and is worth visiting for the atmosphere and the food. By the way the service is also top class.

The following is a sample of the food we had on this night but there is much much more. Obviously you need to have the degustation menu otherwise it is a waste of time going.

The restaurant is located at 243 High Street Northcote in Victoria
phone (03) 94894609

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Vamps Bistro

Vamps is an old traditional French bistro with. slightly Asian feel, however the majority of the food is classic french. The restaurant is nestled in amongst a number of other restaurants at 5 ways Paddington which is always buzzing on the weekends. The old terrace house has been there as a restaurant for over 25 years and this was my first visit.

I like traditional French as it does remind me of my French holiday some years ago spending 5 weeks travelling around the country side. There is plenty to like about Vamps from the atmosphere to the smell of garlic to the noisy chatter of kitchen staff and guests.

The menu is full of goodies including French onion soup, escargot, scallops in moray sauce, lambs brains and kidneys. I had the escargot in garlic whilst the others had shagpile prawns in shredded wontons, both were very good.

When it came time to order the mains I wanted the duck a l orange and the rabbit pie and then the beef with pepper sauce also sounded good. I settled on the rabbit pie only to find out that they had none but was replaced with a pheasant pie, so I had that. it did not disappoint me in fast it was lovely nice flakey pastry with a thick creamy, wine pheasant filling. We had the potato mash and beans as sides. The others had the twice cooked pork belly, lamb and the duck, all were very good and everyone enjoyed the meal.

no one had room for dessert unfortunately but they do have the traditional French desserts and you won't be disappointed here either.

It was a very pleasant night out and with the added advantage of being BYO we also took our own wine. corkage is a very reasonable $5 per person. I would return and overall I would give it a 7/10 for both food and service.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:227 Glemore Rd Paddington

Thursday, December 12, 2013


This is the second time I have gone to Brooks and I must admit the food is excellent. Some of it is a little rich but all the same it is presented with precision and flair. The restaurant does degustation and you should to do dinner this way to sample what they have on offer.

The restaurant itself is located in a lane way just off Collins Street and is where Jamie Oliver's 15 used to be. Although the premises are a bit dated the food and service makes up for this.

The following dishes are a sample of some of their dishes.

Chicken Parfait, rye bread and rhubarb jam

Vegetable croquettes, charcoal, ginger & red wine

Nic's souvenir of Laguiole. Meli Melo vegetables

Spanner crab, pickled oysters, mussels, Shizo oil, nori

"Forrest floor" , chocolate & hazelnut parfait, pork crackling, mint, sorrel granita and

The service was excellent and the wine list long. Overall a very pleasant dinning experience and I would recommend you try some time. Score for food 8/10 and service 9/10.

Basement 115 - 117 Collins street
telephone: 03 90018755

Monday, October 7, 2013

Felix - Ash St Sydney CBD

This is a Merivale restaurant and one of my favourite. I have been there 3 times and enjoyed the experience each time. Although some better than others. this is a true French bistro and you could be in Paris if you close your eyes.

This night we dinned with friends and thoroughly enjoyed the night. The atmosphere is buzzy as it is always nearly full.

For entree I had Oysters, as I am on a diet but my guests had a seafood chowder which he loved, and a prawn salad with quinoa.

For mains we had lamb, barramundi and spatchcock and a duck cassoulet. All were fine except the cassoulet was too dry but still tasty.

As you can see they all look delicious and they were. you need to be careful with the wine list and choose wisely. The service was good without being great and the waiters were a little hard to understand. I give it 5/10 for service and 6/10 for food.

I will return as I like the buzz about the restaurant and it is always pleasant.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Gastro Park - Roslyn st Potts Point

Well,everyone has been talking about this restaurant so I thought I should try it out. Although I dont believe the name does it justice.

The restaurant is in a small street off the main drag in Kings Cross called Roslyn street which is also home to a number of bars. The ambiance is casual dinning but is definitely a fine dinning menu.

The menu has a number of options including snacks which we tried before ordering our entree & mains. The snack was described as following. Foie gras, wild hare, beetroot, plum vinegar and red cabbage granita.

For entree we had Slow cooked pork belly seared cuttlefish, pork crackling carot witlof & crab sauce.

Liquid butternut gnocchi, mushroom consommé, shimeji, opinion crumb

Agendashi of cauliflower & scallop, lobster consommé.

the above entrees were all well presented and tasted great.

For mains we had crispy scaled jewfish, smoked potato purée, calamari crackling in ink sauce. this was quite amazing but it didn't seem to work for me. The fish was nice and the smoked potato very salty.

Rare seared venison, red cabbage, rhubarb, beetroot, puffed barley, spiced red wine. this was far too well cooked for venison which made it a little tough.

Steamed Murray cod, charred white asparagus, roast watercress & shiitake mushroom, trompette sauce.

We washed the above down with a Parker Terra Rossa Cabernet and then proceeded to desert. These were all fabulous and a highlight of the meal.

Mulberry milk & honey cluster, blueberry, mascarpone & lemon. This was absolutely beautiful as was the other dish below.

then we both had the chocolate, honeycomb & vanilla sphere, cardamom, saffron, ginger.

Overall the food was very innovative, presented very well but lacked something ? The service was very good and the ambiance was good as well especially as the night went on with being able to look out the window at all the action. I would recommend you try it but be wary it is innovative food. I give it 6/10 for food and 8/10 for service.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sails - Lavender Bay

I have not been here for about 2 years and we booked to celebrate my daughters 30th birthday. The menu was a bit non seafood for a known seafood restaurant but looked ok. We turned up to be greeted by a lady who was not only rude but spoke to us in a most unusual way. It did not stop there as during the night her manners were appalling interrupting me twice to ask a question and quite frankly ruined the night. By the way the food was fantastic from the entree to desert. I can't complain about the food but the service was 2/10. I wouldn't go back.

So lets talk about the food, the menu is a Little short on seafood as mentioned above but the terrine and the prawns were very good. The main included a special of a rib eye on the bone with fat chips, now that sounded good so I ordered that as did another person. unfortunately they only had one special left so I took the fillet instead, oh and no fat chips available for that steak. 

Apparently the Barramundi was excellent as was the lamb, but the bad service continued. Desert was also very good being a mixture of banana, peanut butter, icecream and toffee.

All in all if the service was better it would have been a great night as the view is sensational watching the harbour bridge and the ferries coming and going all night.

For food I give it a 7/10 and service I have already commented.

<a href=""><img alt="Sails on Lavender Bay on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;padding:0px;width:104px;height:34px" /></a>

Saturday, June 22, 2013

New York Restaurants

We have been here in New York for 2 weeks and have visited quite a few restaurants but only a small number have lived up to what we are used to in Australia. The best so far has been Buddakan in Chelsea which if you are a sex in the city fan may remember as one of their favourite places. We had their suggested menu and it was sensational from the duck salad to their deserts which were to die for. Cost was $80 per head but worthwhile plus wine.

The next best was Momofuku Noodle Bar in Greenwich which lived up to their reputation. We had their famous pork bun and their pork ramen. Not expensive but like the one above you have to either wait for an hour or book ahead.

Just down the road from us was a real gem called Eataly which is a grocer shop, for all your Italian needs plus 5 different restaurants. pasta, seafood, meat, cold meats and cheese, vegetarian and a full restaurant upstairs on the roof. We ate there 3 times.

Talking about roofs if you would like to view New York by night on a roof top bar we found a great one called 230 on 5th avenue. You will need to book a table but great views, bar food, lots of people and take plenty of money as it is not cheap.

Another Asian restaurant we visited was TAO in the city which was  also good but not as good as Buddakan, but worth going to if not just for the decor, a giant Budda in the restaurant looks over the proceedings. Must book ahead.

If you are looking for a restaurant to go to before the theatre try Da Rosina on 46th street great pasta and veal in quick time.

For Sushi you can't go past Sushi Azabu in Tribeca it was by far the best sushi in New York. They also have Greenwich Grill upstairs which is Italian Japanese infused style.

Other good places to try Are PO and Villa Mosconi in Greenwich both are excellent.

Pizza of course is everywhere but go to Grimaldi in Brooklyn as this is the most famous and the best we ate.

For hamburgers and fries there is a small park called Maddison Square Park on Broadway in the flatiron area where there is a small shop called Shake and Shack where people line up in a queue about 200 metres long to try theirs. Their fries are crinkle cut which is quite different in New York and their hamburgers are ok. But definitely worth the wait.

I can't speak highly enough about where we stayed which was The Inn on 23rd Street, very clean, rooms were a good size, a great place to meet people and it was very central to the subway system which we used everyday. They are also on top of a bar called The Guilty Goose great steak and atmosphere.

Make sure you visit Cafe Wha in Greenwich and some of the bars in the area for both food, wine and a little music. They also own the bar up the street called Groove which is also worth a visit.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Alphabet street - Cronulla

A new restaurant in the Sutherland shire that has recently received a number of good reviews. So I thought I should try as the chef and owner have some good credentials. Well I must say I was impressed with not only the food but the atmosphere and friendly service. The restaurant was packed and is packed most nights so if you want to go you need to book ahead.

The food was excellent from the whole fish to the pork belly. This is one worth going to and I have rated it 7/10 for food and service.