Visit the Cured & Cultured Bar @ Bennelong in the Sydney Opera House for the yabbie pikelets, suckling pig sausage rolls and cherry lamington!
So it was my birthday last month and I finally booked in for lunch at the Cured and Cultured Bar in Bennelong restaurant inside the Opera House cos you know, a girl’s gotta treat herself 😛 The Cured and Cultured bar is perfect for those not wanting to do the 3 course menu or have issues with super fine dining atmosphere *cough* Noods *cough*
We start with the Red claw yabby ($36) which I coo over for a good minute because I mean, LOOK AT THEM YABBIES! So perfect! This dish is a DIY affair, and I was grateful that each yabbie had been split and pre-shelled before being served in its shell. Grab a warm buckwheat pikelet (that’s cooked to order), whack on a yabbie and it’s up to you to control how much lemon jam and cultured cream you want. Personally I was quite happy not to slather too much of either as I enjoyed the slightly nutty flavour from the pikelet with the natural sweetness of the yabbie.
The Tart of raw ocean trout with golden trout roe, lemon ($14) is picture perfect in terms of presentation and also taste but be warned it’s on the small side and I could’ve easily smashed 5. The tart is buttery, flaky and crisp, the perfect vessel to hold the ribbons of ocean trout and briny baubles of trout roe.
We liked the Seared tartare of purebred Wagyu ($28) with dollops of horseradish cream and a sprinkle of capers and used the crispy beef tendon shards to scoop up everything but we kinda wished there was an egg on top to mix everything together? I dunno maybe we’ve just become accustomed to expecting an egg and missing out on the pleasure of stabbing the yolk.
There happened to be a function happening on that day and we stared lustfully at platters of the Suckling pig sausage rolls with black garlic ($24) being plated up and then died a little on the inside when the edges were cut off and dumped unceremoniously into the bin. I mean, that’s a 24 smackerooney sausage roll! We had a moment of silence for the sausage roll edges that were lost to the void before diving hungrily into our sliced up fanceh sausage roll. I loved the buttery, flakey pastry wrapped around the tender, 8 hour slow cooked suckling pig meat innards but wished there was more of the black garlic sauce which amped up the umami factor.
I’m not usually one for cherry desserts. Or coconut. BUT I loved the Cherry jam lamington ($28)! Yes it’s a bit steep for dessert but it is perfection. The shiny chocolate ganache mirror glaze envelopes a perfect cube of light sponge with coconut cream and a layer of tart cherry jam. And it’s nestled amongst frozen curls of coconut milk parfait that just melt on the tongue! Definitely a must order.
Cured and Cultured Bar at Bennelong
Sydney Opera House
Fri – Sun: 12pm – 2.30pm
Sun – Weds: 5.30pm – 10pm
Thurs – Sat: 5.30pm – 11pm
Cheesy Grin has found a permanent home at Freda’s in Chippendale, taking over the kitchen that was previously Moon Pizza and smashing out toasties and grilled pretzels
Looking for some casual eats after a long day at work? Cheesy Grin has found a permanent home at Freda’s in Chippendale, taking over the kitchen that was previously Moon Pizza! The menu is short and sweet with snacks like burrata or oysters and cheese and cured meat plates just perfect with a cheeky glass of wine or two 😛
The toasty that Bianca and I had our heart set on was a take on the cacio e pepe ($10), slices of sourdough bread is toasted with creamy Vannella Cheese mozzarella, Tasmanian black pepper, Grana Padano parmesan and topped with a cloud of more micro-planed Parmesan.
ARGH SO FRIGGEN GOOD I LOVE CHEESE! LOOK AT THAT OOZE!
Wow could this pic be any more blurry ahaha my bad guys! I was a little too excited to wrap my jaws around this to check if my pic was ok #sorrynotsorry. The other toasty on the menu was a German-style pretzel ($12) from Organic Bread Bar in Paddington which was pleasingly chewy and not too dense, stuffed with Pinos’ Dolce Vita sopressa (salami), lashings of whipped ricotta, Vannella Cheese mozzerella, parsley, toasted and then topped with grated cured egg yolk. It comes with a side of house pickles and those ridiculously tasty chippies with nori powder.
We were feeling like we needed more carbs so ordered their only pasta in the menu, the Tagliatelle Arrabbiata ($) with shavings of grana padano parmesan, gremolato, and golden, crunchy garlic-y breadcrumbs. I could’ve used more cheese but hey that’s me 😛
Cheesy Grin (inside Freda’s)
107-109 Regent St
Tues – Sun: from 5.30pm to late
Craving the magical creation that is Japanese omurice? Moka in Beaconsfield has got you covered with demi glace omurice or creamy mushroom and bacon omurice
Moka Dining has recently opened in Beaconsfield (only 8 mins from Waterloo!) with an entire menu of omurice- a popular Japanese dish that’s basically omelette and rice.
So fun fact, I’ve been to Japan twice now but have never had any interest in eating omurice, I’ve seen plenty of pics of it but well, the draw of incredibly fresh sushi always won out. But now with the beginnings of winter creeping upon us, I’ve unpacked the knitted jumpers, fleece lined stockings and colourful scarves and started craving hearty, comfort foods.
Demi-glace sauce omurice ($16.80). This omurice is the ultimate in comfort food. A blanket of fluffy omelette lounges seductively over a mound of steamed rice and surrounded by a moat of Japanese style beef sauce with pieces of tender beef. It’s honestly a warm, snuggly hug for the soul.
Creamy white sauce omurice with bacon and mushroom ($15.80).YAS LOOK AT ALL THE CREAM! While this is not a traditional omurice, I’m always a sucker for anything creamy + carbs. Plus it had mushrooms and bacon which is always my fave combo and reminded me of boscaiola pasta.
Lemme just show you a closeup… oh baby oh baby! Yes it’s a bit pricey but damn the portions are massive! We barely made it halfway through each dish and had to takeaway the leftovers.
But of course I couldn’t resist dessert! Moka makes fresh sponge cakes with cream but I only had eyes for their ‘towel rolls’ which is basically a crepe filled with a layer of cream and rolled up so it resembles a crepe layer cake. Flavours available that day were taro, matcha, chocolate AND DURIAN!!!
The rolls are $20 each but the durian is $22 and you can buy them for takeaway or if you’re dining in it’s sliced into thirds. The amount of durian and cream in the rolls is pretty generous, the cream is fresh and the durian super fragrant. Definitely a winner for durian lovers!
Instagram friendly 😛
358 Botany Road,
Mon – Sun: 11am – 10pm
Sydney’s best Texas style barbecue is at Black Bear BBQ in Blacktown. The tender beef short rib and juicy brisket is well worth the drive out!
MEEEEEEEAT! Got a craving for good ol American Texas style barbecue? Black Bear BBQ run by pit masters Ben Huppatz, Glen Ellis and Haydn Graham has got you covered! I’ve been dying to visit but they’re not open on the weekends and I wasn’t going to risk travelling all the way out to Blacktown on a Friday night for hour long queues haha but the stars aligned when I had a week of funemployment and Raff and I drove off one fine Monday morning!
The area has an industrial zone vibe and driving past row upon row of smash repairers with cars and spare parts piled all haphazardly, I had such low expectations about eating barbecue in this area but oh how I was wrong! As soon as we exited the car, the heady scent of sweet sweet barbecue enveloped my senses.
Slicing the brisket! Heh look at that grin, he knows my earth is about to be shattered.
Oh baby oh baby
We ordered a Beef Short Rib box ($25) and added an extra Chicken Maryland (I think this was $10… sorry terrible memory) instead of getting the chicken box deal ($15) knowing we needed to save stomach space and not let anything go to waste. All the boxes come with a side of slaw, pickles and potato chips. The skin on the chicken was so crisp and the meat so succulent my eyes closed involuntarily. I would’ve liked a bit more smoky flavour on the chicken but it was still ace!
That beef short rib though. I mean, look at that beauty! Look at that gorgeous smoke ring! So succulent, so juicy! Insert all the superlatives! The short rib was just incredible, tender enough that it could be cut with a spoon, and don’t get me started on the glorious pockets of creamy, buttery fat. And the bark! The bark had this incredibly intense almost candy like flavour with a black pepper bite, that made my eyes roll to the heavens and want to weep with joy. It was, dare I say it, almost on par with my fave barbecue joint in Texas- La Barbecue <3
The Hungry Bear Box ($25) comes with brisket, link sausage and pork belly. Barbecue nirvana. Slabs of sweet, deliciously fatty pork belly all a-quiver were phenomenonal and the thickly sliced brisket was so tender it threatened to fall off my fork before reaching my razor sharp teeth keen on masticating and being absorbed into my life force.
But the link sausage stole my heart in this box, it had a great smoky flavour and was so incredibly juicy especially with the surprise pockets of cheese waiting to be freed from their sausage prison and run into the sunset to my waiting stomach.
With Hughes Barbecue recently closing, I’d say Black Bear BBQ is the best barbecue in Sydney and well worth the drive!
PS. Dear Black Bear BBQ, please open on the weekend! Love, Suze
Black Bear BBQ
27 Forge Street
Mon – Thurs: 6am – 2pm (or sold out)
Fri: 6:00 – 14:00, 18:30 – until sold out
Sat & Sun: CLOSED
My first time to London and after checking out Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and double decker busses, I had one specific thing on my mind. High tea at sketch, Mayfair!
So sometime last year (haha yeah I know, my bad with the lag), the boy and I went across the pond to good ol London town. It was my first time in London and after seeing all the usual suspects like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and double decker busses, I had one specific thing on my mind. High tea!
We decided to splurge and booked in for Afternoon Tea £58 ($106) at sketch in Mayfair, London, months in advance. Unfortunately for Noods he got hit by epic food poisoning and barely survived the taxi over and mournfully sat and watched me eat.
I’d opted for the £72 ($131) Champagne Afternoon Tea because well, I spotted this guy pouring all fancy aaaand it’s champagne aaaaand a girls gotta treat herself 😛
There’s a tea master who will wheel their trolley filled with glass jars of loose leaf teas to your table and explain the teas on offer and help you choose what would suit your palate. I absolutely loved the teapot, milk jug and sugar container and it’s also available for purchase but lol £35 ($63) for the teapot yeah nah bruh
A sketch take on egg and soldiers means two cheesy comte fingers to dip into a comte cheese mornay with a 63 degree egg yolk, served in a china egg cup and a spoonful of caviar! Luckily for me (and unfortunately for Noods) I got to eat his serve ahahaha eat ALL the caviar! Decadence max esp with that champagne!
The sweets tier comprised of a range of Petits Gateaux: Malabar Marshmallow; Caramel & blackcurrant macaron; vanilla and hibiscus opera cake; almond and lemon cake; Yorkshire rhubarb and raspberry cheesecake. My fave was the cheesecake which was creamy but the tartness of the raspberry stopped it from being overly rich.
Man I love finger sandwiches haha there’s just something about seeing them all sliced perfectly that makes me happy! There was Corn fed Coronation chicken; ‘Igor’ Tomato chutney, lettuce, mayonaise; Oxfordshire duck egg and mayonaise, quail egg, watercress; and Scottish smoked salmon and Jacob’s cream.
And a plate of freshly baked fruit and plain scones with Cornish clotted cream, fig and strawberry jam. Tbh I wished the scones were a bit more fluffier but how amazing is clotted cream <3
After we (well, mainly me) demolished everything and our table was cleared, a trolley was wheeled over and we were asked if we would like a slice of something extra. Hell yes was the answer and we were presented with a fat slice of Pistachio Cherry Cake. I was already close to explodey point and while this cake was a bit on the dense side for me I loved the juicy cherries studded throughout.
There was also a slice of Traditional Victoria Sponge to be had! Look at that layer of cream! Look at that fine crumb of the sponge! I could’ve used a bit more jam but it was a very delicious cake.
Of course there had to be a trip to the hectic bathroom with psychedelic rainbow ceiling and egg bathroom pods!
Sketch is a definite must, it was such an amazing experience with delicious food and impeccable service. The live music was incredible and it was almost overwhelming just staring at the quirky artworks lining the walls, surrounded by pink velvet banquettes, pillows and ceilings!
9 Conduit St,
Monday – Friday: 7am–2am
Saturday: 8am – 2am
Sunday: 8am – 12:30am