Ester (52 Meagher St, Chippendale). Marrow is one of those things that makes my life worth living and at Ester it is just fan freaking amazing.
It was love at first sight when I first spotted a pic on Instagram of the Bone Marrow with XO sauce ($15) at Ester (52 Meagher St, Chippendale). Marrow is one of those things that makes my life worth living. That and bacon. And chocolate.
ANYWAYS I’d been feeling healthy lately and my arteries were beside themselves at the prospect of gloriously fatty bone marrow so a dinner was booked with an equally marrow crazed human. We fall silent as we dig out the molten, gelatinous, fatty nubbins from the beef bones. The amount of XO sauce was a bit overpowering and I ended up scraping it off and eating it later and kinda wishing I had a bowl of rice to eat it with haha the bone marrow did come with a bowl of house baked bread but we chose to savour each quivering mass by the forkful. I’m still having dreams about it…
And of course we just had to get the Chicken Liver Pate ($15), which was a pleasingly shade of pale pink and ridiculously smooth. Best slathered thick enough to see teeth marks onto the warm crisps, it didn’t even need the mandarin chutney accompaniment.
Our waitress was very enthusiastic about the Pig tail ($22), “it’s triple flattened!” Each piece had uber crispy edges but unfortch it was a tad chewy in the middle and my ineffectual hacking meant I ended up picking it up and gnawing away. The pickled cucumber packed one helluva mouth-puckering punch but was balanced with the smoky oysters and slippery black fungus.
I used to be firmly in the anchovy hate camp and it was only recently I found I just couldn’t get enough of it! So the Steak, bagna cauda, radish ($30) was ordered mainly because I wanted the bagna cauda- a creamy sauce made with anchovy and olive oil and while it did not disappoint I must admit I was hoping the steak to be a bit more tender. It was still tasty though, just not as mind blowing as the previous dishes.
A meal is not complete without dessert! We order the Three Milks ($11) and had automatically assumed it was a tres leches cake but instead what arrived was a mighty fine wobbly ricotta pannacotta (teehee try saying that 5 times, fast), sheeps milk foam, buttery biscuit crumbs and best of all- a schmear of sweet dulce de leche. I steered clear of the rosemary because I have issues with herbs in my desserts but the dulce de leche was scraped clean long before the other components because hell, who doesn’t love the caramelised deliciousness of dulce de leche?
Aaaand a scoop of the Salted Caramel Semi-Freddo ($4) with a sprinkle of black sesame crumbs is the perfect balance of salty and sweet and is just plain awesome. Service was fantastic, there was always someone around to answer any questions or to automatically fill our glasses of water, none of the ridiculous hipster ‘tude that seems to be infiltrating restaurants nowadays! We’ll be back for more marrow!
Catalina (Lyne Park, Rose Bay). Roasted Suckling Pig, Banana and Salted Peanut Butter Parfait oh and Let’s Do Lunch special of Pan Fried Mulloway. Fabulous food, amazing view of Rose Bay and special mention to the attentive service we received!
Spot my parents in the corner? That’s as close to a star jump that I was able to get them to do heh. We were at Catalina (Lyne Park, Rose Bay) and the parents loved it so much we came back the following week so don’t be alarmed at the amount of dishes in this post 😛
We start with Natural Oysters ($4.50 each). Freshly shucked oysters are always a drawcard and these bivalves didn’t disappoint with the refreshing lime and chilli vinaigrette and topped with a generous amount of tobiko.
The Poached Marron Tail ($36) is too pretty for words. No really. Fine ok, the marron flesh is delicately tender and sets the tastebuds a-tingle when eaten with the blood orange segments, seasonal vegetables and dots of aioli.
The special entree of the day was Foie Gras Parfait ($27) which had my name all over it. Smooth, creamy and rich, it was perfect slathering inch thick onto the slices of sourdough.
Pan Fried King Prawns ($32). You know what I love? Prawns. Do you have any idea what it’s like to live with someone who’s seriously allergic to prawns? Yep thanks a lot Noods! Nah it’s all good because he puts up with me making him eat the crusts of pizzas. ANYWAYS. The prawns were pretty darn spectacular, drenched in an addictive garlic and herb butter that had us enquiring for more bread to mop up the sauce remnants.
On our second visit we tried the Let’s Do Lunch special of Pan Fried Mulloway ($38) with braised baby fennel, jerusalem artichoke puree, kiss pepper and tomato salsa. I’m not the biggest fan of fennel, artichoke or um mulloway so I pretty much steered clear of this dish but I got the thumbs up and a cleared plate from the father unit.
The mothership has chosen the Crispy Skin Pork Belly with apple roumalade, baby vegetables, smoked celeriac puree and port wine jus ($31) and we all can’t help but coo at the garden that is presented. The pork belly is perfect with the magical balance of creamy fat and soft meaty layer and crowned by glorious crackling.
‘Glacier 51’ Toothfish sous vide with fennel purée, tomato relish, artichoke crisp and ocean trout roe ($49). The father unit was enamoured by the toothfish and upon first bite instantly declared that we should return to Catalina just for this dish alone.
Roasted Suckling Pig ($99). If there’s one thing my family is obsessed with it’s suckling pig. There’s just something that turns us into insatiable freaks that will track every single piece of mind blowing crackle to ensure we get our rightful portion. Luckily there was more than enough for all of us and the table falls silent as we demolish the pile with ease. I particularly like the side of apple purée and the parents cleaned up the braised red cabbage and raisins hiding underneath.
We can’t resist the desserts and order the Vanilla Creme Brulee ($20) which is delightfully light and with the fresh passionfruit coulis and coconut sorbet it tastes just like summer.
Of course I had to get the Banana and Salted Peanut Butter Parfait ($20) which was amazing especially with the torched bananas.
The Let’s Do Lunch special means you will need to book if you plan on visiting at lunch during Good Food Month but I reckon it’s totally worth it. Fabulous food, an amazing view of Rose Bay and special mention to the attentive service we received!
Super Easy No Bake Raspberry Mousse Cheesecake. DOESN’T use gelatin and doesn’t need baking, the filling is light and mousse-like thanks to the addition of whipped cream.
So ok, I’m still loving how ridiculously bright pink my Kenwood Kmix is and I just couldn’t help making another pink dessert! I give you: an easy recipe for a cheesecake that DOESN‘T use gelatin and doesn’t need baking! The filling is light and mousse-like thanks to the addition of whipped cream and with summer berries slowly lowering in price (I hear Aldi is selling punnets of raspberries for $4.99!) this raspberry mousse cheesecake will be a smash hit at your next gathering/dinner/party/shindig! Oh also sidenote, all our plants in our backyard died thanks to the combination of my green thumb being non existent and the soaring temperatures so Noods dug everything up and we now have a rock garden haha
Prep time takes about 15mins max but you do have to chill it overnight (or shove in the freezer for a couple of hours if you’re in a hurry) and yes because this cheesecake isn’t baked or use gelatine means it will melt if it’s heaps hot. I’ve tweaked a recipe from Very Best Baking and used my usual biscuit base.
500g cream cheese, softened (in above pic there’s only 1 block lol my bad)
1½ cups icing sugar
2 cups frozen raspberries, plus extra fresh raspberries for decoration
2/3 cup thickened cream
250g digestives biscuits (my usual brand is Nice)
100g butter, melted
1. Blitz the biscuits until nice and crumbly. 2. In your mixing bowl, dump in the crumbs, add the melted butter and mix thoroughly. 3. Tip the biscuit mix into a springform cake tin and press down firmly to create an even layer. Chill in the fridge while preparing the cheesecake mixture. 4. Blitz frozen raspberries.
1. Beat the 500g cream cheese with 1½ cups icing sugar until creamy (about 5mins on medium). 2. Add in the blitzed raspberries and mix until just combined. 3. Add in the 2/3 cup thickened cream and beat mixture until still peaks form.
Dollop mixture over chilled base and smooth in tin making sure there are no air bubbles. Chill overnight or if you’re in a hurry freeze for at least an hour.
When you’re ready to serve, carefully run a knife around the edge of pan before releasing the latch. Top with fresh raspberries. Aaand a dusting of icing sugar always makes everything right with the world 😀
Have a delicious week guys!
1.3kg Tomahawk Ribeye on the bone ($88) at HUX Bistro inside Richard’s On the Park (41 Canley Vale Road, Canley Vale) by super nice guy 2011 Masterchef contestant Jay Huxley
I’ve been dying to drag the boy along to HUX Bistro at Richard’s On the Park (41 Canley Vale Road, Canley Vale) ever since drooling all over a pic Baby Mooksy posted on the wonderful world that is Instagram. Oh and if that dude looks familiar it’s super nice guy 2011 Masterchef contestant Jay Huxley 😛
CHECK IT OUT!!! That beauty is a 1.3kg Tomahawk Ribeye on the bone ($88)! This special comes with 4 sides (with FREE refills!) and 3 sauces and it’s recommended to share between 2-3 people but lol Noods thought we could handle it. Famous last words…
Yeahhh baby! The Tomahawk does take a while to cook so be sure to call up (9755 5234) in advance if you have patience issues.
Jay came out to slice up the Tomahawk for us and we were let in on a lil secret that suckling pig may appear on the menu soon woot
This steak was amazing. Quite possibly the best steak I’ve had all year! The blood cells in my anaemic body were crying in happiness at the overload of delicious protein entering my system. Man it was glorious! It had the perfect ratio of juicy tender meat to pockets of creamy fat! I don’t want to say it melts in the mouth because apparently only M&M’s melt in your mouth (and not in your hand) but damn it was mind blowingly awesome.
Aaaand of course I had to pick up the bone and gnaw at it caveman style. BEST FEELING EVER. Helloooo caramelised fatty edges!
Here’s 3/4 of the sides- fat golden fries which we dived right in before we eventually and reluctantly reached for the salad and steamed veggies when we started developing meat sweats. The three sauces were mushroom, pepper and uh nfi on the last one but I prefer eating steak sans sauce anyways.
And the 4th side! Even though they’re not made in house the onion rings get a pic by themselves because they were ridiculously addictive, golden and crisp they disappeared within seconds into our onion ring deprived souls.
And then…we ordered dessert, because I like reminding my stomach who exactly is boss. I couldn’t resist the Deep fried brownie ($10) because well, DEEP. FRIED. BROWNIE! Crisp edges gives way to a gooey and almost molten lava chocolatey centre. The scoop of caramel macadamia ice cream and puddle of raspberry coulis helped cut through the richness of the brownie but in the end we only managed to make it halfway before admitting defeat.
It was pretty quiet at lunch but apparently it gets packed out at dinner. Not sure what’s the go at dinner but we ordered our food at the counter and drinks at the bar. Oh and it’s cash only but there’s an ATM near the pokies out back. Anywhos I’ll be back soon to get my steak fix!