The delicious nutella crepe was a large round crepe spread out flat on a plate and slathered with a thick rich and generous spiral of nutella.Read More
The waffle burger was a mountain of vanilla bean gelato, fresh strawberries and bananas, and oozy Nutella sandwiched between two perfect waffles.Read More
The Sweet French Toast was next on the list. It had lashings of maple syrup on top of banana and crispy bacon. It was generous and indulgent.Read More
This delicious Hermes crepe was filled with heaps of turkey breast, tasty cheese, bacon, mushrooms, baby spinach and red sauce.Read More
The biggest challenge here is what to order but they're more than happy to give you a taste of any flavours you want to try.Read More
332 Victoria St
If you’ve been to Los Angeles, then hopefully you’ve experienced an LA style brunch. A decadent experience of food and drinks that starts in the morning and flows well into the afternoon.
The good news is you don’t have to travel 14 hours on a plane to experience it. A funky place called Bloody Mary’s has opened right in the heart of Darlinghurst and its been mastering that LA style experience, right here in our backyard.
As the name suggests, Bloody Mary’s is the place to go if you’re in the mood for a Bloody Mary but that isn’t all they offer.
In fact, Bloody Mary’s has such a diverse menu of food and drinks, it’s got you covered for breakfast lunch and dinner, whether you are in the mood to drink alcohol or not.
Bloody Mary’s is situated in Victoria Street, Darlinghurst, an area that has changed so much in the past few years, its gone from nightclub hotspot to cool and trendy in a matter of months. Its boasts a stylish interior with a courtyard out the back making it a perfect choice for a function or event.
We quickly found a table and ordered, yep you guessed it, a couple of Bloody Marys and by looking at their menu, this place has quite a few of them on offer.
Count J ordered a classic Bloody Mary and Count N, feeling quite adventurous, ordered a Bloody Hell (normally it's the other way around). The classic bloody Mary was fresh and full of flavour. They make their own tomato juice here which really makes a difference to the taste of the cocktail.
The bloody Hell was nothing like we had ever seen before. This drink is not for the faint hearted. It has chilli infused vodka and comes with a slider, buffalo wing and a shrimp. Literally, a three course meal on a drink. The fish sauce, coriander and palm sugar give this cocktail a real Asian Fusion. Its most definitely unique and most definitely worth trying.
After those two cocktails our appetites (and mouths) were on fire, so we were ready for some food. Blood Mary’s diverse menu has quite a few American inspired dishes so we went with that and ordered two American favourites. The Reuben Sandwich was generously filled with meat, cheese and mustard. Its been years since we’ve had pastrami and this sandwich had loads of it. The bread was fresh and tasted great too.
The salmon bagel was great. Packed with Fresh salmon and homemade salsa wedged in a freshly baked bagel, it was delicious and had us scraping up every last crumb. It was a decent size serving too.
After this, It was time for some more food though and this time we ordered a couple of items from the lunch menu. The Yankee Doodle resembled something you would expect to see in a trendy Manhattan venue. A mouthwatering hot dog in a fresh bun with a chipotle truffle mayonnaise that was just sensational. We don't know where they get this mayonnaise from, or if they make it themselves, but we'd sure love to get our hands on some.
The chilli was present but not overpowering so you didn't miss the taste of the crab, which was quite generous by the way.
The linguine was cooked al dente and with just the right amount of seasoning, the dish was just perfect.
Our truffle fries were quite crispy and not too oily which can happen sometimes with truffle oil. Luckily, these were perfect and Count N went a bit crazy over them so we decided at that point it was probably time to go. There was no way we could fit in dessert despite wanting to, very much.
They say hair of the dog is the best hangover cure and you can order a drink here from about 8am on weekends.
See you next Sunday at 8am!
The Counts, who review for Sir and Mlady Dine Out, dined as guests of the Bloody Mary's. Big thanks to Kimberley Stewart of Agency G for the invitation.
249 Crown St
The Original Balkan has been around for 50 years - yes 50! That's a very long time for any business let alone a restaurant.
Whilst it has moved a short distance to its current location a few years ago - it's still the same familiar place - same food and same staff.
The restaurant has a comfortable, homely feel to it. It still looks and feels like a restaurant though. It's current location was once part of a church, and this gives the feel of space with its high ceilings, exposed beams and arches.
There are quite a few different spaces here too. The front room leads through to another large room at the rear. There's also a good sized function room upstairs that's heavily booked, especially on weekends. Downstairs they seat 130 and upstairs 65.
When in Rome - or in this case when in a Balkan restaurant........ We always love to try different things, whether it's the food or the drinks. In this case we tried Croatian beer for the first (and not last) time. It was great even if the name was unpronounceable to us! Another, um, one of those beers please!
In a Balkan restaurant it's clearly best to eat the dishes of the region.
The cabbage roll is just that, a traditional dish of cabbage leaves filled with a tasty mix.
When served, it resembles a savoury pancake in appearance.
Apart from the great flavours, you notice just how big this is. Be prepared - it's all big here!
This plate had both prawn cutlets and fried whitebait.
We loved both. The crisp light crumb coating was so good , revealing tender seafood underneath.
As always it was a huge serving too.
The Balkan salad - potato and shredded cabbage - was so good we just couldn't stop eating it - even when full.
Sir kind of grew up on chevapi - well he's had it plenty of times before at least - but this was a first for Mlady. It's basically a mildly spiced sausage without any skin - which is an oversimplification, but you get the gist. Sir said these were so much better than he'd ever had before - with much more flavour in them. The capsicum and onion salsa was delish too.
You certainly know you're eating fish - it's staring you in the face almost.
This was whole John Dory and even though it was a large serving - again - the flesh was so tender and juicy we just kept picking at it until it was all gone.
In Australia we'd regard scampi as a kind of like a large prawn or small crayfish. So if you like this type of seafood, and we do a lot, then give it a go. These were split, lightly grilled and served on lettuce with some lemon wedges. They were very good!
Both were sensational. Mlady preferred the first while Sir opted for the second!
Sir and Mlady dined as guests of The Original Balkan. Special thanks to owners John and Tanja (and the previous generation Nedeo and Danica) for the invitation and to Sanja and Rose for looking after us so well.
579 King St
Izba Russian Treats brings the traditional ‘Izba’ experience - the authentic Russian countryside - to life in Newtown. Located on the south end of King Street, a neighbourhood bursting with multiculturalism, Izba Russian Treats has cemented itself as a local favourite with an array of delicious treats, both sweet and savoury.
We arrived at 579 King Street and although the space might seem small, with seating to hold about ten people inside plus a few tables out the front, the cute wooden tables and stools make it easy for you to enjoy coffee and cake on the premises, so we took a seat inside.
Immediately excited with the vast selection of cakes and pastries on display, some of which we couldn’t pronounce, we knew choosing what to order was going to be a difficult task.
We generally start off with a couple of coffees but we noticed a very interesting selection of frappes on the board so we decided to try one. This Lemon, Honey and Mint frappe was served in a giant glass and was bursting with freshness and flavour. We also had a long black which we enjoyed. Izba Russian Treats use Crave Coffee which is exceptionally smooth.
Whilst deciding what to eat, we met Olga, the owner of this amazing patisserie Her warm welcome and passion for traditional Russian food made us feel eager to try every single item on the menu! Olga talked to us about her mission to showcase her Russian heritage and childhood memories through her sweets. Everything here is made in house from recipes that have been passed down to Olga through generations of her family.
We opted to start with something savoury, so we chose the Salmon Pie. What a great choice! This huge piece of pie, filled with delicious chunks of salmon, spinach and cheese was a hearty and warming dish. The buckwheat filling was a surprising and tasty addition and made it exceptionally light along with the airy and crisp house made pastry top.
Next we tried the Blini - two pancakes filled with tasty cottage cheese and sultanas with sour cream on the side. They were very fluffy and soft, quite different to how they usually look. Olga told us they use yeast in the pancake mix which is the traditional Russian way of making them, resulting in a delicate micro-lattice effect. They really were delicious.
Adapted from the traditional French style mille-feuille vanilla slice in the early 19th century, this divine cake boasts three layers of crispy, flaky pastry.
The pastry then sandwiches delicious Russian-style custard which is then topped with beautiful pastry crumbs.
The very different Honey Cake however is a fusion of sour cream and honey that is then topped with a nutty crumble.
It’s a combination of flavours that really melt in your mouth.
Lastly, we tried the Izba, their signature dish. This cake is stacked like a log house (Izba means log house in Russian) and is nothing like we’d ever seen before. The log shaped dough was filled with Amareno (non-alcoholic almond liquor) and covered with a vanilla infused sour cream. This is a heavenly combination of flavours. We could taste the fresh cream.
7 days a week and is also now at Broadway Shopping Centre in Ultimo, giving you even more reason to try this Russian art of food.
The Counts, who are now doing reviews for Sir and Mlady Dine Out, dined as guests of Izba. Special thanks also to Olga, the owner, for arranging this.
61 Quay St
Hot & Roll serve freshly made wraps with their own Malaysian twist.
The real difference is that their fillings are wrapped in house made roti. For us, this was a huge attraction as we are big roti fans!
It's a smallish place at the far end of Chinatown in Sydney CBD, past the markets.
You can eat there but most people order take away. It's all freshly prepared too - you just choose the wrap and filling - and there are several vegetarian options as well.
We had the satay chicken, tandoori chicken, chicken and avocado and the beef rendang. All were great but the satay chicken was probably the most popular, followed by the tangy beef rendang. They were tasty and very filling.
Sir and Mlady's visit to Hot & Roll was supported by the Malaysian Kitchen Programme.
La Tavernetta Osteria
23-26 Norton St
La Tavernetta (which means Little Tavern in Italian) is part of that predominantly Italian enclave know as The Forum in Leichhardt.
Owners Ernesto and Antonella Meduri only started their "Little Tavern" in December 2013 and it has attracted a great following. It was packed and buzzing when we visited.
It has a small indoor area and bar and a larger protected al fresco area in front. The al fresco area is covered though so it can be used comfortably in all weather - and of course there are scattered heaters for those cooler evenings or nights.
The whole place has really captured that Italian feel with simple adornments that are perfectly in style.
One very popular offering is their Aperitivo which runs every Friday evening.
For a mere $15 you get a glass of wine or beer and unlimited access to their "buffet" of food.
For $20 you get a cocktail and all the goodies. It's an amazing deal and understandably in high demand. We tried this for our entree and loved it!
Later Sir unusually had another cocktail, which we both actually shared. It was a speciality of Rocco, the mixologist there, and it was extremely unique.
Firstly, the drink itself looked spectacular, with fruit everywhere - inside it and on top. A hollowed-out ring of pineapple also sat on top.
The really unusual part was that we were provided two small squirter bottles and told to squirt our mouths first with the red one then the white second - before each sip!
We still don't know what it was but it was a great taste!
The gnocchi here is certainly worth having - even as a teaser before your mains. The gnocchi Napolitana is so simple and tasty. Their tender house made gnocchi arrives with a good covering of rich, vibrant and satisfying sauce. It works so well. Otherwise there's the gnocchi al Gorgonzola - another simple yet delicious dish. This variation has their gnocchi mixed with a creamy yet not overpowering Gorgonzola sauce and garnished with some pieces of super crispy pancetta.
They will do what they can here to oblige to create a mix that suits the individuals taste.
The next dish was a lovely pairing of beautifully cooked scampi and risotto.
The scampi was halved and cooked perfectly - its tender flesh peeling easily out of the shell.
It's so easy to overcook scampi - but it wasn't the case here with a gentle hand and light touch clearly at work.
The risotto was lovely - how can rice taste this good - and it was so simple too. Cherry tomatoes adorned it as well.
Next was the Costolette d'agnello - possibly the prettiest dish of the night - and delicious as well.
This was lovely tender BBQ lamb cutlets served on top of generous dollops of beetroot purée and interspersed with scattered freshly steamed snow peas.
It was a sea of colour as it arrived and the lamb was nicely cooked to medium rare and beautifully pink inside.
Anyway, the Affogato Tavernetta arrived and it was a scoop of vanilla gelato and espresso coffee served with a touch of Baileys and garnished with scattered crushed amaretto biscuits.
Whatever this was - it was good.
Then the bigger desserts arrived starting with the ananas flambé al grand mariner. This dish is pineapple flambéd with Grand Marnier then served with a tangy lemon sorbet. It's fresh, vibrant, tangy and pretty filling too.
Sir's favourite finale was the Crespelle Tavernetta. This was chilled homemade crepes with ricotta and toblerone chocolate. It's unusual having crepes chilled but we found that it actually worked very well.
Sir and Mlady dined as guests of La Tavernetta. Big thanks to owners Ernesto and Antonella Meduri. Thanks also to Maria, Rocco and Andrea for looking after us so well. Special thanks also to Stephanie for arranging our visit.
(Inside The Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens)
2090 Broke Rd
Pokolbin, Hunter Valley NSW
Elements is the new restaurant inside the elegant and picturesque Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens.
It offers a French/Australian fusion menu put together by Executive Chef Jean Marc Pollet.
The menu draws on both seasonal offerings and local produce and much of the local produce comes from his own gardens on his 5 acre farm.
The restaurant is lovely inside - simple and elegant. Outside are absolutely lovely views overlooking the manicured gardens, a stunning fountain bubbling away further down the lawn and a spectacular large fire pit on the verandah crackling right in front of the windows.
We started with some lovely fresh house baked bread.
There are two choices as well, mixed herb bread or garlic bread - so we chose one of each to sample both and they were certainly nice.
We also had a serving of olives, balsamic glaze and virgin olive oil to nibble on as a nice appetiser to get us in the mood for food. It was so pleasant!
It was a great pairing with the plump juicy scallops attractively presented alternating with fluffy tortellini filled with blue swimmer crab.
Down the side of the plate was a line of tomato salsa that not only looked great but added further flavour to the dish.
The scallops looked beautiful topped with red caviar beads that also tumbled off the sides onto the plate.
The tortellini was also a winner - either of these would probably have been enough as a starter on their own with the salsa.
It was artistically presented with the scampi piled high on the souffle.
The dish was one of delicate and very subtle flavours with each combining nicely with the others while not dominating the dish. The scampi and souffle were nicely cooked too.
The dish was made from slow cooked corn fed chicken with Hunter Shiraz, tarragon, mushroom and onion.
It arrived quaintly presented in a lovely cast iron pan and it was a substantial serving of a rich dish with nice bold flavours. Mlady really enjoyed this.
It was Hunter signature select beef, cross breed, pasture fed 250gm eye fillet that was wrapped with bacon and then topped with baked mushrooms
It was a nice piece of meat which had great textures and it was very tender and nicely cooked to order - medium rare.
Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Elements Restaurant and the Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens. Thanks to Eliza, Kimberly and Cassie for looking after us. Special thanks to David Lowe for arranging our visit.
Circular Quay Sydney
41 Oxford St
We were lucky enough to be invited to visit the Bleu Blanc Rouge Festival to celebrate all things French and to join in a cooking class as well from Chef Aymeric Saint-Lannes of Slide Restaurant in Darlinghurst.
But first - the festival. If you like French food and all things French then this was the place to be. There were so many goodies on display and for sale - people were buying to eat there and stocking up for later as well. We'll be back next year for sure.
We love French food and are already planning our next visit to Paris so this was sheer bliss! The cooking class and eating the food was a bonus.
Entree - Clarence River Scool Prawn Bisque;
Seared Scallop and Pernod Mornay on the Shell
Main - Roast Duck Breast
Bush Pepperberry Bordelaise
Dubarry Gratin Dauphinois
Dessert - Vanilla Bourbon Creme Brulee
served with Almond Tuile
As a duck lover - in the eating kind of way - the main course was certainly something I was looking forward to trying. We seared the duck in a pan first to brown the skin then baked it until it was medium rare. The bush pepperberry bordelaise went perfectly - it had bite without overpowering the duck.
And lets not forget the potatoes either - so rich but oh so nice!
Sir and Mlady were guests of the Bleu Blanc Rouge Festival. Special thanks to Aymeric Saint-Lannes for sharing his skill and expertise with our small group and for the lovely food that resulted. We're now very keen to visit Slide Restaurant as many of our dishes are in fact on their menu. They have shows there as well during dinner! Thanks also to April Davies of Exposure Public Relations and Marketing for arranging our visit so professionally.