25 August 2011

a song for reuben

'Is it the look of your rye
Or is it your soft wagyu?
Who cares Reuben, I think I wanna gobble you.'

Reuben sandwich- wagyu salt beef,  Swiss cheese,
dill pickles, sauerkraut and mild mustard  mayo
Yes, I am singing about a reuben sandwich to the tune of a Bruno Mars hit. I'm gen y and that's just how I roll.

And roll I did, out of the food court and back into work after a quick lunch dash to Reuben & Moore. A fine sandwich establishment located conveniently at the top of the escalator in the Westfield Pitt St, level 5 food court.

There are so many dining options on level 5 from dumplings at Din Tai Fung to burgers at Charlie and Co  and pies at Mick's Bakehouse. Plus, they've added more dining options to level 6. 

The reuben will always be a favourite though. Memories of my first ever reuben experience take me back to Spring in New York city - the home of the not so humble sandwich.


16 August 2011

introducing the foodie five files

To make it a little easier for you all. Check out the promo video for The Foodie Five Files!

Stay tuned for our first culinary adventure



my radelaide adventures part 2 - celsius restaurant

Set on Gouger Street, a well-known culinary strip in the heart of Adelaide, Celsius stands out. A big glass door next to their large sandstone sign, metal letters and that wow factor doesn't stop when you walk in. The room is dark and my eyes are instantly directed to the long communal marble table lit up from the inside out in the middle of the room. 

The striking sign on gouger street
We are seated and instantly served. Champagne? Yes please. Within moments the waiter has brought bread and butter to our table including a vibrant green parsley butter.

Bread with butter and parsley butter
We've decided to order a la carte and not go for the very tempting degustation. The entrees came out looking absolutely beautiful and pretty as a picture.

Jerusalem artichoke, pumpernickel, chicken skin, garlic shoots
This reminded me of a lake with lilypads, the chicken skin was crispy and light and the Jerusalem artichokes were creamy. The broth had a wonderful depth of flavour but it came out warm and not really hot which is what you expect from a broth on a freezing winter night but that may have been intentional.

Raw kingfish, kohlrabi, radish, finger lime
This was such an elegant looking dish, you can tell the chef is ex Noma with a plate like this one. I loved the raw elements especially that fresh kingfish and pink radishes which came together really nicely.

Quail, prosciutto, pumpkin, olive liquorice, lemon, coffee
I love quail and I can't go past it on a menu. It could be because I never quite cook it well at home so when I go out I look forward to a well cooked bit of quail. The skin was very crispy but my favourite part was the aniseed flavour that was present in quite a few elements of the dish, that crumbly olive liquorice and those caramelised bits of fennel complimented the salty prosciutto and tender quail really well.

Slow cooked milk fed Suffolk lamb, black garlic, baby carrots
This was such a generous dish. Two large pieces of perfectly cooked and seasoned lamb and just enough of the black garlic to go around. It had a beautiful sweet, caramelised flavour and was a highlight alongside the lamb, carrots and greens.

Pork belly, calamari, eggplant
Those are three magic words in my vocabulary and put together in a dish this attractive was magic to my ears. Can pork belly ever be bad? Well, probably but this one wasn't, crispy, tender and slightly salty as it should be. We found a few pieces of the calamari to be quite tough which was disappointing as it would have come together quite nicely otherwise.

Venison, forest mushrooms, chestnuts, celeriac
I may not have mentioned that I was dining with two of my wonderful girlfriends who were apalled by my choice of venison. I really like venison, it's another one of those meats that you rarely, if ever will cook at home so I tend to order it when I'm out at establishments like Celsius.

The forest mushrooms were tender and quite juicy, the chestnuts were and creamy and that celeriac was a welcomed addition to my plate. The venison was actually quite large and I found it quite difficult to get through but it was oh so tender and tasty.

We didn't even get to dessert as it was really late in the evening and we were all so full after our hefty main meals. I would definitely go back to try a few things I missed out on and would go for a degustation which is quite a good price at $85.00 for 5 courses and $120.00 for 8 courses.


So, a quick question for you readers, have any of your friends questioned your food choices?

On another note, I will be contributing to a wonderful new blog called The Foodie Five Files. Check out our first post and video bio! http://foodiefivefiles.blogspot.com/ 

03 August 2011

you're a doll

There are close to hundreds of restaurants I'm dying to try in Sydney. So finally, when the opportunity arises to go anywhere I want, why am I so stumped?

I could list them all to you now, one-by-one like some food obsessed blogger or something....oh wait. 

I found myself free, a Sunday evening, a willing companion and Sydney's food scene as my oyster. Cancelling out the restaurants that are booked up till the next season of MasterChef starts and the ones that have been on MasterChef and don't take any bookings. Well I guess the options weren't endless. But then I thought of the ones that have been around for a while, that I have always wanted to try. 

China Doll is once such place. Their motto should be "China Doll, where the crockery is pretty and the food is damn good." Ok, so it's clear I won't be hired as their copywriter but I would eat there anyway. 

When you see their menu, you'll want to take the easy option and order the banquet but buyer beware - there is no banquet for two.

Apparently it's too much food for two. Clearly they didn't know who they were dealing with. 

We tried to convince the waiter we would be fine, but to no avail so they offered us the option of ordering half serves of their entrees and a few of their mains. Compromise is a beautiful thing. 

The pretty plates
My chilli plate
It could have been the fact that I kept asking what dishes were chilli that gave away my obsession, so our lovely waiter brought me my very own plate of chilli. Sriracha, fresh chillies with soy and dark chilli paste.

Sashimi of Hiramasa kingfish and ocean trout with blackened chilli dressing
This was quite possibly one of the best sashimi dishes I've had in a long time. The sauce had a clever mix of chilli, sweet and sour and the sashimi was layered on crispy, thin apple slices. Both styles of fish were fresh and easy to eat and went down a treat with the pickled ginger.

Chilli salt squid
A much nicer rendition of salt and pepper squid. I loved the crispy salt crust but the chilli didn't quite hit the mark for me, I actually couldn't taste it, lucky I had my trusty chilli plate to help with that. 

2 types of dumplings
So I'll admit this isn't a great photo but once I opened the dumplings, my camera lens would get all steamy. I wasn't going to make my date wait any longer and I didn't want to wait either, I'm a dumpling fiend.

We ordered the Steamed Dumplings with prawn and green soy bean served with tobiko and red vinegar and also the Shu Mai, another steamed style dumpling with prawn, pork, scallop and shitake mushrooms served with chilli oil.

They were both soft and the stuffing was heavenly but those shu mai were my favourite, you could taste every element especially the whole scallops and shitake mushrooms. Truly beautiful.

Crispy pork belly with chilli caramel and nam pla prik
This dish was oh so on the money. Crispy tender pork belly in a sticky, spicy caramel sauce plus the nam pla prik sauce which put simply is fish sauce and chilli. The combination clearly works perfectly and I'm going to have to give this a go at home or I'll be spending all my time and money here. 

Wok fried Asian eggplant and tofu with Sichuan chilli bean paste
I'm going to come clean and say my motive behind ordering this dish came down to, two simple words - Sichuan chilli. It helped that there was eggplant because then my date was on board too.

The sauce was quite sour but balanced quite well by the creamy eggplant and tofu and it had just the right amount of spice, nothing too hot. I like my chilli to be bearable.

There was one other dish ordered, the Panang curry with slow cooked wagyu beef shin. I wish I got a photo of this but I was enjoying it so much I forgot. Valid excuse right? The beef fell off the bone with one tap of the chopstick and melted away in my mouth with the beautiful smooth panang sauce.

You don't need a photo though because it's a must try the next time you're heading to China Doll. Did I mention that it's set on Woollomooloo Wharf, good food and a view? That's rare.