HARVEST RESTAURANT (INSIDE SEBEL HAWKESBURY) - WINDSOR, NSW

Harvest Restaurant
The Sebel Resort & Spa Hawkesbury Valley
61 Hawkesbury Valley Way
Windsor NSW

Harvest Restaurant is located within the gorgeous and picturesque Sebel Resort. The ambiance here is quiet, relaxing and oh so pretty.

You walk up an impressive grand entrance to an equally grand building and when inside - such a WOW factor.

The restaurant exudes simple elegance and the tables are well spaced.

We started our meal with some drinks - water from Tasmania (We love Tasmania) and Sir had a white - a Pinot Gris which he enjoyed - it was crisp and refreshing and went well with the entrees.

Mlady had an Argentinian Malbec that had a nice spicy aftertaste.



















An amuse bouche started our journey - this is designed  to "stimulate the appetite" - and it certainly did.

The sweet cherry tomato, crème fraiche and fried shallots blended so well.

It was cool and fresh - and we loved the crunchiness of the fried shallots - a wonderful taste sensation!
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For entrée we had the Smoked Tasmanian salmon - chilli, salt, granny smith apple, celery, salted walnuts and witlof chicory.

With this we also had the Beetroot assiette - pickled golden beetroot, pickled green banana, yellow cherry tomatoes, red beetroot gel and spiced yoghurt.



Mlady especially being a HUGE fan of Salmon and beetroot raved about this. How good was this entrée! You could taste the salmon as well as the smokiness but this was a gentle smoke - did not overpower the taste of the salmon.
The Beetroot assiette was an amazing salad. Both entrees were vibrant in colour and they consolidated so well.










The Wildfire spiced scallops were next - parsnip puree, mango & coriander relish, sweet potato crisps and smoked cherry tomato.

This was elegantly presented and the scallops were cooked lightly - such a delicate dish. The tasty accompaniments enhanced this dainty dish.

Our last entrée was the Blood orange glazed duck breast - black garlic, broccolini, pearl couscous, kohlrabi puree. Sir as we know LOVES duck so he could not wait to try this. It was cooked to perfection. Beautifully pink and tender and was cooked with a gentle hand. The pearl couscous partnered the duck well.

We then both had a lovely Tolmer - an organic Cabernet. The one word to described this lovely drop - smooth!

For mains Sir had the Lamb backstrap - leek & spring onion mash, broccolini, tamarind & mint dressing and parsnip crisps.

This was a such an appetising dish. The lamb was nicely cooked - pink with a subtle hint of chimichurri.





Mlady had the Blackened Cajun spiced kingfish - rockmelon prosciutto & radish salad and olive pesto. This came with hand cut chips.This dish had the wonderful crispy skin which Mlady adores. It was delicious fish. The olive pesto and rockmelon prosciutto & radish salad enhanced the fish. This had really great flavours. As the hand cut chips - they were crisp and delectably fluffy.

As a dessert wine we had the superb Botrytis - a sweet dessert styled wine.





















For dessert Sir had - Redskin pannacotta - Hint of "explosion", rosella syrup and strawberry crumble.

We grew up with "Redskins" and this was a walk down memory lane. A childhood treat with an adult twist. It was beautifully presented with popping candy - release your inner childhood! Sir loved this!



Mlady as we know is a chocoholic - and she had the Dark Belgian chocolate & coconut parfait.

OMG this arrived in two glasses in a tower of sweet tasty deliciousness. Impressive!

It had the wonderfully yummy dark Belgian chocolate in one glass and the coconut in another. It was like two desserts in one!

You can eat the Dark Belgian first, then eat the coconut parfait afterwards, or the other way around, or combine them both together.

Such an innovative dessert and oh so mouth watering. One of the best!


The food here at Harvest is really exceptional and the servings are so generous.

This lovely restaurant and venue is well worth visiting - Harvest is in such tranquil and enchanting surroundings.

They even have delightful live music on the Baby Grand Piano on Friday and Saturday nights that provides great ambiance.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Harvest restaurant and The Sebel Resort & Spa Hawkesbury Valley. Special thank you to Peter Diego for inviting us and also thank you to Chef Pavan for taking time out from his busy schedule to chat with us.



Harvest Restaurant - The Sebel Resort & Spa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CHEFS TABLE - CARNIVAL SPIRIT SHIP - OUT OF SYDNEY


Chefs Table
Carnival Spirit Cruise Ship
Out Of Sydney

The Carnival Spirit is a big ship with plenty of food options on board. It's amazing how personal and tailored they can make this considering they have around 2,000 passengers on board. But they do achieve this!

One of the more unique and exclusive choices is the Chef's Table which is limited to just 12 people. It's an experience that is certainly worth it if you get a chance.

Executive Chef Daniel Arulraj runs a big team on board the Carnival Spirit yet still manages to stay involved at a personal level as well. The Chef's Table is an evening of spectacular food and lovely wines in a private room with excellent service and even entertainment. It's also extremely informative as well.










The Chef's Table evening started by meeting in the lounge bar area where we were greeted with a glass of champagne - we were off to a good start already!

We were then taken to the kitchen where Daniel Arulraj meets you all and explains a bit about how the food side of the Carnival Spirit works.

It's a real eye opener as it's a huge operation.


Then, much to our delight, Daniel showed us how they make their delicious warm chocolate melting cake - and to top it off he even gave us the recipe! We're certainly going to give this a go at home.



While in the kitchen we also had canapes. We started with a lovely prime beef taco with avocado cream and tomato salsa.

Then it was some delicious duck pot stickers with a mushroom oyster glaze.

Finally we had my favourite canape - the crayfish and sundried tomato jam fritters. These were amazing!



We then left the kitchen and moved to a private room, with a beautifully decorated table. The first food to arrive after we were seated was a delicious brioche with a whole garlic clove baked into the top. Lovely.

This was closely followed by "Tomatoes Our Way" described as aerated tomato juice, cocoa butter coated and chardonnay poached. It was elegant and tasty.




The Southern Bluefin tuna banh mi was listed in our menu as lemon bread, sesame crisp, miso cream and avocado gel. It was so much more than this though - the textures were so delicate and it was the same with the flavours!

The next dish was spatchcock that was caramelised and came with butternut squash and sofrito. Again presentation was immaculate and the food impeccable.


The Barramundi was again a beautifully presented dish.

It was served with herb pesto, cured tomatoes, carrots, fava, mushroom earth and condensed beets.

The fish was lightly cooked retaining its moisture nicely and we just loved the condensed beets for both their appearance and taste.

Being a red meat eater at heart I absolutely loved the Wagyu.

It was a slow stewed short rib with potato pebbles, pumpkin fudge and tomato dust.

The meat was so soft and tender that it literally fell apart.

Again, as with every dish for the evening, presentation was excellent.

Our final course in this amazing degustation was of course dessert.

The chocolate 32C came with aerated pistachio and mango cake, marscapone cream and guava and caramel praline.

It was a sweet spectacular finale to a wonderful dinner.

During the meal we were fortunate to again hear briefly from Executive Chef Daniel Arulraj and to question him on his food philosophy and his signature dish - which turns out to be a duck creation that we were lucky enough to have specially prepared for us another evening to try! We were also entertained by the magician on the cruise - who was great. 

If you get a chance to sign up for the Chef's Table on the Carnival Spirit - do it! It's an absolute bargain and amazing from start to finish! 

We'll be posting more details of the food and facilities on the Carnival Spirit - which was really impressive. It was our first cruise and we're now eager to go again!

Sir and Mlady were guests on Carnival Spirit for the Chef's Table. Special thanks to Daniel Arulraj and to Carnival Cruise Line. Thanks also to MG Media Communications for arranging everything so professionally. 





Q DINING - CIRCULAR QUAY, SYDNEY



Q Dining
Mezzanine Level
Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour
61 Macquarie St
Circular Quay, Sydney

Q Dining recently launched with a spectacular event at the venue with drinks flowing freely and plenty of samples of their new food.

They have award winning Executive Chef Daniel Simpson at the helm and he uses regional produce to create amazing meals.

It's an amazingly pretty restaurant and with its prime position on the mezzanine level of the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour it has million dollar views out over Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge which will enchant and delight everyone there. You certainly won't forget it - nor will you forget the food either!






















We started with some lovely bread. I tried the potato and herb bread and Mlady tried the wholegrain. They came with a three sectioned dish, one had a lovely pouch of Pepe Saya butter, the next had some pink maldon salt and the third had some fruity olive oil with a drop of balsamic in it (and they asked us first if we wanted the balsamic). It was a lovely way to start a lovely meal.



A lovely smoked salmon amuse bouche arrived at our table.

It consisted of a roll of smoked salmon on wakame with horseradish and a few beads of caviar served on a spoon.

It was so colourful and tasted great. The burst of different significant flavours from the smoked salmon, horseradish and caviar was delicious.


There's an impressive charcuterie at Q Dining with some extremely rare options.

We tried the 2004 Spanish jamon from Salamanca - one of only 50 in the world. It came with a side serving of pickled carrot, cauliflower and red capsicum.

This was truly amazing - we hadn't tasted anything like this before!

My entree was the seared scallops with fresh garden peas and pancetta.

We both love scallops, and often choose them as an entree.

They arrived beautifully presented and the scallops were so plump and beautifully cooked. It was a lovely blend of colours and textures and of course flavours too.
Maldy isn't generally a great lover of gnocchi and I've never seen her order this before now.

However the housemade gnocchi with sweetcorn puree and shaved reggianno grabbed her attention and she succumbed.

It was extremely light and soft and virtually melted in her mouth. She absolutely loved it and finished everything on her plate.

I love duck and duck dishes are usually my choice on many menu's.

The pan roasted duck breast with duck and pistachio pie and marmalade sounded interesting and certainly looked just as interesting when it arrived at the table.

There was plenty of lightly and perfectly cooked duck meat and the combination of textures was again great. The taste was even more impressive!

Mlady loves salmon. I mean really loves it.

She chose the Atlantic salmon that had a lovely crispy skin - just the way she likes (loves) it. It was appetisingly inviting with lovely vibrant colours. It all combined so well and tasted so great together!

A side of baby leaves shaken in a jar with chardonnay dressing went perfectly and looked great.



To finish I wanted something sweet and the trinkets sounded just right.

They were described as meringues, rocky road, house made jellies and fruit textures and this sounded, and turned out to be, ideal.

It was great. There was plenty of it as well and it was a wonderful mix of different goodies! The rocky road was my favourite bit.


Mlady had Eaton mess which was one of the specials available that evening.

It came uniquely presented in a jar which looked unusual and  impressive.

The crystallised mint leaves on top was a lovely garnish that tasted fantastic.

It was a lovely mix and Mlady loved every mouthful of it.




We finished with a cheese plate comprising double brie, triple brie and hard cheddar. They came with lavosh, wafer crackers and dried muscatel grapes.

All three cheeses were lovely and the muscatels went so well - we devoured them all!

We paired the cheeses with some great dessert wines - Mlady had a 2009 De Bortoli Noble One and I had a 2010 Chateau Roumieu Sauternes.










Q Dining is simply spectacular. The food is so uniquely presented with great combinations and lovely flavours. The menu has something for everyone on it and the view will stay with you forever!

Sir and Mlady dined as guest of Q Dining. Thanks to Alberto and Restaurant Manager Hugh Cook who looked after us so well on our visit. Special thanks also to Nicola Chandler - Director of Sales and Marketing at Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour.



BISTRO PAPILLON - SYDNEY CBD


Bistro Papillon
98 Clarence St
Sydney CBD

Bistro Papillon is a cosy and very traditional French restaurant that has real charm and atmosphere. It's a small place with elegant well placed decorations on shelves and the walls. It's like being in a well appointed lounge room in many ways. It's steadily gained an excellent and well deserved reputation for great food and service.


I started with tartare de boeuf. This is a favourite of mine which I also savoured in Paris earlier in the year.

This dish consisted of finely chopped raw grass fed beef fillet seasoned with a spicy mayonnaise and condiments, served with toasted baguette and green salad.  It was delicious! It comes in a main course size as well. The beef had great texture and was full of flavour - it's a great way to get your iron intake!



Mlady loved the sound of the pate de fois de volaille - in fact she loved the sound of everything that was part of this dish.

It was described in the menu as homemade chicken liver parfait with cornichons, green apple chutney and baguette.

The pate smelled "delish" and was full of flavour. The cornichons, chutney and salad set it of beautifully.



A lovely amuse bouche that everyone must try is the sorbet with vodka. It was extremely refreshing and certainly cleansed the palate! It also had a nice kick to it - and a touch of flair as well with the vodka being poured over it at the table.

We also had a lovely bottle of red from Chateau Lamothe-Vincent in Bordeaux. This 2011 blend with 75% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon actually went well with everything we had!


My main course was the cassoulet de canard - continuing my love affair with all things duck!

This consisted of confit of duck and pork, smoked sausage, white beans, vegetables and herbs. It had plenty of meat and it was all soooooo tender - falling off the bone (where there was a bone!).

It was packed with flavour and was a real cold night meal. 


Mlady also went with another classic French dish - coq au vin. This was described as corn fed chicken casserole cooked in red wine, speck, onion, mushrooms and thyme. It again smelled amazingly delicious and looked so appetising. This was again another great cold weather dish with the tender meat also falling off the bone!

A side serving of mixed crunchy buttered vegetables capped off both meals nicely.

We were also persuaded to try a side serving of the delicious homemade spaetzle.

It was another real comfort food that I particularly loved.

This doughy dish was like noodles or little dumplings that had been fried.

Great stuff!




My dessert was yet another classic - tarte tatin aux pommes.

This classic french apple tart is one of my favourites and this one was up there with the best. It was made with caramelized apple with rum and raisin ice cream. The rich rum and raisin ice cream went particularly well with it - or maybe that's just the rum lover in me showing through!


Mlady, after much deliberation, chose the profiteroles a la pistache. Profiteroles with pistachio ice cream and hot chocolate sauce.

To be honest I thought the inner chocoholic in Mlady would cause her to choose the richer moelleux au chocolat!

She raved about this though and certainly didn't regret choosing this dessert!


Bistro Papillon is more than just a restaurant. It reflects the passion and desire of two men who had a vision for a classic French restaurant - and who didn't stop until they got it! Xavier and Ludovic, who are both French, first met in England many years ago. Their friendship and shared passion has resulted in this lovely restaurant - Bistro Papillon. It's a great place that serves great food in a charming environment. They have also surrounded themselves with great people who also share their vision. We thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of Bistro Papillon.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Bistro Papillon. Special thanks to Xavier and Ludovic and also to Clement and Alex for looking after us so well on our visit.


Bistro Papillon on Urbanspoon

UNCORKED AT THE UNION HOTEL - NORTH SYDNEY, SYDNEY


Uncorked at The Union Hotel
271 Pacific Highway
North Sydney

This is an extremely sophisticated place with modern chic decor that most people would not expect upstairs at a North Sydney hotel. It's an oasis of elegance that will stun you. A lot of effort has gone in to this charming restaurant and it shows. The booths with doors on them were also lovely and quite unique.

Our first entree was mine and I just loved the sound of the smoked pigs cheek. It came with cauliflower velvet, crisp pigs ear and blackberry.

The pigs cheek was beautifully cooked and just fell apart and the crisp crackling-like pigs ear added a lovely contrasting crunch. The blackberry sauce went nicely with its fruity flavour. At $18.00 for each entree you get quality food that is well presented.

Mlady chose the kingfish. It came cooked in squid ink - which she loves - with a side of panfried watermelon (yes it does actually work), pomegranate (including the seeds of course) and coconut. It came nicely presented with a wonderful grouping of flavours that went well together to create a light and refreshing starter. We also had a lovely pinotage from South Africa from the Winery of Good Hope that had great flavour and balance and went well with everything.

I couldn't go past the signature bouillabaisse - its such a great meal on its own! This amazing seafood soup/stew dish had snapper, scampi, scallops, prawns, clams and mussels and came served with warm bread and rouille.

It was full of flavour and there was certainly plenty of seafood there to devour. I loved every mouthful and at $40.00 it was great value for a great meal with great flavours.


Mlady had the joues de veau - or veal jowls. They came served with boudin noir (or blood sausage - black pudding to most of us), minted peas and celeriac with pickled beets. The veal was again delicious and just melted. The celeriac puree went perfectly and the pickled beets were wafer thin and added nice contrast. The dish looked great and tasted the same. At $28.00 it was a good sized serving.

We also had a side of pommes frites - chips - which were so hot and crisp. We ate more than we probably should have! The bread was also nice as well.


Our desserts lived up to the standards set from our previous courses. I had the orange mille feuille - which is normally a vanilla or custard slice - with fois gras and macadamia ice cream.

The mille feuille was decontructed and the combination was beautiful. The unique fois gras and macadamia ice cream went with it perfectly as well. This was a great dessert and cost $16.00.



Mlady had the chocolate terrine - which wasn't a surprise as she loves her chocolate!

It came with honeycomb, milo soil, passionfruit syrup and freeze dried mandarin. It was rich, decadent (as chocolate should be) and she described it as "absolutely yummo".

This dish was again $16.00.



Uncorked is a quality place to dine. The decor has a real wow factor and the food, wine and service is all excellent. If you're looking for somewhere to impress someone on the North Shore you should go here. You wont be disappointed.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Uncorked. Special thanks to Angela Gallagher - Group General Manager of Gallagher Hotel Management for arranging our visit and also to Uncorked Manager Gonzalo for looking after us so capably on the night.



Uncorked on Urbanspoon