Sydney’s hottest restaurant is Bistecca, featuring Florence’s famous T-bone steak as their own main but with plenty of delicious side dishes
MEEEEEEAT! Sydney’s hottest restaurant is Bistecca, featuring Florence’s famous T-bone steak and is located off Dalley St and around the corner from the horror that is the light rail construction on George St.
Make your way down a slightly shady looking staircase which opens up to the bar area where you’ll wait if your entire group haven’t arrived yet. Reservations are only for groups of 6 or more and generally if you aren’t there before 6.30pm you’ll have to wait about an hour and a half for a table. Luckily the bar does serve snacks like olives, cured meats and cheeses and while there’s no pressure to order a drink while you’re waiting, the menu is actually quite reasonably priced (though I’d skip their poor attempt at a bellini and stick with the wines).
When we were finally led through the bar to the secret entrance of the restaurant we were momentarily confused when we were told to surrender our mobile phones. You don’t have to of course but it’s to encourage customers to enjoy their meals and engage with each other so with a shrug we deposit our phones into the cushioned drawer which is then locked and we’re given a key in case we need to access them during the meal.
While we peruse the menu, focaccia bread arrives and a candle is lit and placed on our table but this is not just any ordinary candle, it’s a candle made of beef drippings! Wait a bit for the candle to melt before tearing off some focaccia and dipping into the puddle of rich beef fat.
We’d missed out on the first seating and didn’t want to fill up on snacks while waiting so by the time we were shown to our table we were ravenous and our eyes gleamed when we were asked how many grams we wanted our steak to be. There is only one type available, the Bistecca alla Fiorentina which is $13 per 100 grams and staff recommend about 300g per person so the 4 of us we decide to get 1.5kg as the steak does include bone.
Our waiter delivers the verdict to the open kitchen and we watch as they hack away at a giant slab of meat to cut our steaks to order. The steaks are then presented to us for inspection and the weight and cost is scribbled on our paper table cloth before they’re whisked away to sizzle on the woodfire grill.
Oh helloooo! Our t-bones are a perfect medium rare with delicious charred edges and sliced and reassembled for ease of eating. It’s incredible juicy, tender and our table is silenced as we gleefully give in to our carnivore happiness and eye each other over who gets to gnaw at the bone.
While there is only one main available, there’s a whole bunch of sides that we couldn’t resist ordering. If I’m eating a steak then I will always need a carb so we had to order the potato mash ($10) which was nice and fluffy and so easily dispatched into my carb loving stomach.
I’m not sure what I was expecting with the Asparagus, cured yolk, prosciutto ($12) but I was a little underwhelmed at the row of asparagus all lined up and showered with grated cured egg yolk. I didn’t taste any prosciutto but maybe the asparagus spear that I nabbed was missing this? It was fine but well, it just didn’t do anything for me.
The Brussels sprouts ($15) however, are a bloody revelation, the outer leaves are crisp and charred with a tender center and works well with dabs of the sour cream and shavings of pecorino.
I somehow don’t have a photo but surprisingly I really liked the cavolo nero ($11) the most out of all the sides, maybe because it was loaded with confit garlic cream and I can never have too much garlic haha and it definitely helped with the meat sweats.
We were pretty damn full but when there was a mention of tiramisu ($15) we perked up and agreed to share one. It’s thankfully light and creamy and just sweet enough to hit all the right notes.
3 Dalley St
Lunch Wednesday to Friday 12pm-3pm
Dinner Monday to Saturday 6pm-10pm
Monday and Tuesday 4pm-2am
Wednesday to Friday 12pm-2am
OUT Restaurant in Shibuya, Tokyo is a tiny 13 seater minimalist restaurant that only serves one dish with one wine and only plays music from one artist
A restaurant that serves only one dish, one wine and only plays one artist’s music? Welcome to OUT Restaurant in Shibuya, Tokyo, a tiny 13 seater minimalist restaurant that is perfect for the indecisive diner but especially suited for Japan where specialty shops and restaurants are highly valued.
Sometime last year, the boy and I had just landed in Tokyo and dropped off our luggage before setting out to meet Yas. Jetlagged and getting horribly lost, we finally arrived at OUT and settled at the u-shaped dining table to the sweet tunes of Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog.
Like most places in Japan, there’s a ticket machine in the corner to order your food- ‘The Set’ (¥4,000/AU$50.30) comes with 150 grams of fresh pasta, five grams of fresh truffle, and a glass of wine, or you can get the pasta separately (¥2,900/AU$36.50). If you have any problems with the ticket machine or have any questions, the staff are more than happy to explain.
We watch as the chef dunks portions of fresh tagliatelle into boiling water before draining and twirling onto our plates with a slick of butter and a touch of parmesan.
And then the glass cloche displaying the truffles in the centre of the room is ceremoniously lifted aaaaand then it’s time to rain truffles!
The heady fragrance of truffles fills the room with every whisper thin shave and I can’t help but silently urge the truffle bearer for a never ending shower of truffles onto my pasta. The dish is simplistic yes, but it’s just so delicious- the pasta is spot on al dente with a perfect bite to it, the truffles are delicate in flavour but the incredible aroma has me in raptures.
2 Chome−7−14, Vort Aoyama
Tues – Sat: 6pm – 12am
Sun: 6 – 10pm
Indulge at Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie, Paris with super juicy duck, rich foie gras and garlic butter snails
I’ve always thought food in France would be super rich, full of butter and utterly indulgent. It was our first time to Paris and in need of sustenance after a day at the Lourve (much art, daaaaarling), we googled best duck in Paris and managed to snare a table without a booking at Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie.
I have got to mention the absolutely lovely service we received, I’d been warned about the brusque nature of basically the entire population of France but wherever we went everyone was so nice and polite! We had zero problems with communication and were smilingly handed an English menu with no problems. We absolutely loved our first meal here that we ended up visiting again on our last day so don’t @ me with the amount of food in this post!
Noods had his heart set on the Bourgogne snails (6 for €13.80/AUD$22.43) which were tender meaty morsels absolutely drenched in garlic butter. He did almost have a Pretty Woman moment using the escargot tool but luckily no slippery little suckers were flung across the room 😛
The onion soup (€9.50/AUD$15.45) was like drinking a bowl of happiness, it was laden with what felt like the lives of hundreds of onions cooked till tender and then layered with bread and then there’s the magic that is melted cheese.
The roasted duck with balsamic sauce (€17/AUD$27.60) was a beauty, ridiculously juicy and fork tender with a perfect baby pink center. The skin was gloriously crisp and I carefully set it aside to savour slowly. Oh and not forgetting the oh so buttery mash!
The menu had listed a range of foie gras dishes and not wanting to miss out I end up ordering 3 of the 4. When the foie gras carpaccio with honey balsamic sauce and sea salt (€19/AUD$30.90) arrived at our table we were thinking oh crap this serve is friggen massive! I mean we finished it but it was definitely a struggle with all the rich food we’d ordered and consumed the past couple of days! The ribbons of creamy foie gras was served cold and while it did come with a serve of bread I instead relished placing a piece on my tongue and letting it slowly dissolve… be still my heart.
Oh boy. The pan seared foie gras with gingerbread (€17/AUD$27.60) made my heart skip a beat or two and not just because of my rapidly increasing cholesterol! The lobe of foie gras had a great sear to it so there was a great textural contrast of crisp to creamy. I wasn’t too keen on the gingerbread because that’s always a dessert to me but I loved the pineapple which I think was roasted/grilled and provided a relief from the richness.
Foie gras ravioli with a truffle sauce (€19/AUD$30.90) was just mind blowing, the truffle cream sauce though! My god is this what heaven tastes like? Incredibly rich and and oh so creamy the truffle flavour was just amazing and you bet I mopped up each last drop of the sauce with bread! The pasta itself was just so silky and tender and beneath their folds held nuggets of foie gras. Technically the foie gras wasn’t really the star of this dish but to me it felt like a perfect marriage. Of rich and more rich hahaha
Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie
34 Rue Montmartre,
75001 Paris, France
Mon–Thu: 6:00 AM–11:00 PM
Fri–Sat: 6:00 AM–Midnight
Rollers Bakehouse in Manly is Sydney’s newest croissanterie and specialising in golden, flaky croissants
Ever since eating my weight in buttery croissants in Paris last year (I’ma blog it soon I swear), I’d resigned myself to a life of average croissants in Oz. But earlier this year after visiting Lune in Melbourne and proclaiming my undying love for their flaky croissants, I’ve been lamenting how Sydney is sorely in need of a croissanterie and BEHOLD! Rollers Bakehouse has opened in Manly just a hop, skip and a jump away from the beachfront (and also hidden down a slightly dodgy alleyway).
Raff and I had planned our sick days in advance to coincide for a day of epic eats. After a breakfast of champions of cream puffs (Tamborino ftw!) we made the trek past the horror that is the Spit Bridge and arrived to the hallowed sight of baby pink walls of Rollers. Croissant flavours rotate weekly which meant we missed out on the famed sushi croissant and the garlic bread croissant (!!!) but not to fear for there were plenty on offer that morning (PSA: they get wiped out on the weekends so go early).
The special of the day was the spanakopita ($8.50). The golden croissant was filled with a creamy layer of bechamel, spinach, ricotta and feta cheese but it was just a touch heavy on the pine nuts so beware the dreaded pine mouth. The croissant itself was pretty darn good- light, buttery and flaky with a perfect crumb.
I was much more in love with the ham and cheese ($8) which is beyond adorable topped with a teensy cornichon and pickled onion.
Inside the croissant is gruyere cheese, slices of ham and wholegrain mustard. Oh how I wished this was piping hot! I couldn’t help but compare to Lune’s version where theirs is lightly toasted so that the cheese is that amazing balance of ooze on the inside with crisp edges! But this was still very tasty and one I’ll definitely get again. To toast at home 😛
I couldn’t resist the maple bacon snail ($6) because, BACON! The smoked maple bacon pieces were crispalicious and delicious against the maple custard embedded within the swirls of pastry.
And of course we couldn’t go past the kouign amann ($6), a beautiful golden swirl of a pastry with bagaillion thin, shatteringly crisp layers and glorious sugary, golden edges and the inevitable shower of pastry flakes everywhere.
19 Rialto Ln,
Mon – Sat: 7am–3pm
Amsterdam! Land of delicious stroopwafels, insanely beautiful canals and frites!
Amsterdam! Land of delicious stroopwafels, insanely beautiful canals and frites!
We stayed at an airbnb in the De Pijp area of the Oud-Zuid district which was pretty great with a bunch of restaurants and wine bars nearby and was walking distance to the tram stops which have pretty regular services from 6.30am to about midnight. We didn’t dare hire a bike and ride around like the locals because my god their speeds!
But also I picked this area to be around the corner from Albert Cuypmarkt, Amsterdam’s largest and busiest street market with about 300 stalls selling everything from clothes, electronics, flowers but most importantly food 😀 Trying a fresh stroopwafel was high on my agenda and Goudse Original Stroopwafels (€1,50/AUD$2.40) drew me in, the sweet perfume of the molasses-y syrup being pressed into wafer thin waffles calling my name. Definitely a sugar rush after consuming one but it was just irresistible especially piping hot in the middle of winter (ok fine it was end of Autumn then but my god was I cold).
The stroopwafels also come in mega ginormous Superstrooper size (€3,50/$AUD5.65) bigger than my face! You can also choose to get them dipped in chocolate (extra €0.50/AUD$0.80) but I preferred them plain without the chocolate. Yes I know my blog is called ChocolateSuze but shh…
Dutch herring (nieuw herring) is another specialty that we ordered from Vlaardingse Haringhande (€2.50/AUD$4.05). It’s a salted fish that’s served raw and cold, with onion and pickled cucumbers that I actually quite liked- the flesh is buttery soft and not at all ‘fishy’ for such an oily fish. You can also get the herring served in a sandwich (broodje haring) but eh do it like the locals!
We took a self guided 1.5 hour Heineken tour (Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam) at the original brewery (€18/AUD$29.20, €3 discount if you book online) which was actually pretty interesting as there was a lot of interactive displays and of course free beer to be drunk. Oh and at the end of the tour you end up downstairs in a warehouse type of space where you’re able to take a crash course on how to pour a beer from a tap with the perfect amount of foamy head.
So beautiful <3
When the munchies hit, get yourself a paper cone of Patat Frites aka the most perfect fries from Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx (Voetboogstraat 33, 1012 XK Amsterdam), a tiny hole in the wall joint. There’s frites stores everywhere, usually with a fries sign glowing enticingly out front but Vleminckx has a cult-like following and it just happened to be conveniently across the road from the coffee shop we were at. Join the queue and shuffle your way to the front, don’t worry it’ll move fast! The piping hot fries is smothered in the sauce of your choice- I’d chosen the special mix of curry ketchup and mayonnaise with a handful of chopped raw onion which makes for the most ridiculously tasty combo and all for the low low price of €3,60/AUD$5.80.
Pancakes were another highlight of my eats, in Amsterdam the traditional Dutch pancakes are of the super thin crepe variety and just so delicious with the barest of toppings. I was taking care of a certain someone who was having a bad reaction to a brownie he ate and needed a place to hang so into Pancakes Amsterdam (Prins Hendrikkade 48, 1012 AC Amsterdam) we went, which had such a great view of the canals. I ordered the traditional bacon and cheese (€9,50/AUD$15.40) which was utterly delightful, the pancake was light as a feather with gloriously crispy cheesy edges and embedded with the most deliciously perfect bacon strips.
De Carousel Pannenkoeken (H.M. van Randwijkplantsoen 1, 1017 ZW Amsterdam) was highly recommended to me for their dessert pancakes, specifically the poffertjes- small fluffy pancakes. The restaurant is built around a small carousel which borders on the slightly gaudy but hey we’re here for the pancakes! There’s just something about eating miniature versions of food that really hooks me haha the menu had poffertjes with every kind of topping under the rainbow but I stick with the classic icing sugar and whipped cream (€6,50/AUD$10.50). The serve is deceptively large and by the midway point I was struggling with the sugar overload.
We did the Amsterdam More Beer (self guided) pub crawl as a way to walk and see more of the city and I was v determined to drink 5 beers and get the free tshirt. Most bars serve snacks but the one that held my sway every time I spotted it was my beloved bitterballen- deep fried, bite sized beef and gravy croquettes.
If, after a late night out on the town and you’re ravenous but nothing’s open, it’s time to hit up a FEBO automat aka vending machine from a hole in the wall. The Dutch chain of snack bars sell deep fried croquettes and burgers which are then placed immediately into the vending machines waiting for the inevitable fumble for coins to insert. Don’t want to interact with humans? This is the place for you! I choose the neon hued cheese filled croquette (€1,80/AUD$2.90) which satisfied those snack cravings.
Aaaand special mention to all the cute tiny cars everywhere!