28 October 2010

est: SIFF 2010 Let's Do Lunch, Sydney (5 Oct 2010)

Establishment Hotel
Level 1, 252 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Perfectly cooked fish

The grand high ceiling of the est. restaurant is always a great setting for a special lunch and SIFF 2010 makes the 3 Hatted Restaurant a lot more affordable too. Complimentary bread is good and the $35 lunch deal is a perfectly cooked Pan roasted aoraki salmon with crispy skin and moist and tender meat as hoped which is matched well with a drinkable Brown Brothers Chardonnay 2008. It comes with shaved fennel, asparagus, witlof, preserved lemon and dill oil which all balances well on the palate. The Brown Brothers Shiraz 2009 was also well liked. A glass of wine and coffee is included in the meal price — my cappuccino is good without being too bitter in taste. A bowl of Mash ($10) helps fill the stomach with it's creamy goodness. Petit fours ($4) can be ordered with your coffee which comes with a selection of 6 little sugary morsels. The est labeled chocolate is probably my favourite. It's great to finally see the toilets now use soap dispensers rather than a cake of soap which I noticed in my previous visits.

Other visits to est.:
17 Oct 2011 - Let's Do Lunch: Barramundi with asparagus, Sashimi of ocean trout, Salad of spanner crab, Italian buffalo mozzarella
5 Oct 2010 - Let's Do Lunch: Pan Roasted Salmon
12 Mar 2010 - March Into Merivale: Oysters, Scallops, Veal Parmgiana, Corn Fed Chicken, Mesclun Salad
30 June 2009 - Winter Feast: Scallop linguine, Barramundi, Lamb rump, Chips, Cheesecake, Slow poached quince

PROS: Nice decor, Professional and welcoming service, Perfectly cooked fish, Nice balance of flavours, Reasonably priced petit fours
CONS: Might need to order some side dishes to help make the meal more substantial, No entree or dessert specials
MUST TRY: Pan Roasted Salmon, Petit fours as a cheap dessert alternative with your coffee

Complimentary bread

Pan roasted aoraki salmon, shaved fennel, asparagus, witlof, preserved lemon, dill oil ($35) with wine and coffee

Brown Brothers Chardonnay 2008

Brown Brothers Shiraz 2009

Mash ($10)


Petit fours ($4)

Bill $158 for 4 people

Table setting

SIFF Let's Do Lunch menu

Sides menu


Merivale specials promotion — candied scorpion anyone?

Finally have soap dispenser instead of cake of soap

14 October 2010

InterContinental The Cortile: SIFF 2010 Sugar Hit, Sydney (1 Oct 2010)

117 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Spring into Sugar

I'm always impressed with the decor at the InterContinental with it's high ceiling and comfy laid back seating. The Sugar Hit this year is Homemade amarena cherry, triple chocolate gateau with orange honeycomb and Bailey's macaroons ($20) which includes a glass of Brown Brothers Orange Flora Muscat. It's quite a substantial dessert in terms of it's sweetness and size and I like the touche of orange honeycomb on top of the chocolate gateau although it's not as fresh and crunchy as hoped — possibly due to being prepared in advance for quite some time and has soaked up the air moisture. For those craving something more savoury you could delve into the Cheese plate with fig paste, lavosh and sourdough ($27) which comes with 3 cheeses and an array of dried fruits. A Long Black coffee ($7) was non bitter as hoped but at a premium price. Arriving fairly late in the night the service was a little frantic to get all the orders to the kitchen before it closed for the Sugar Hit at 11 pm but was friendly enough and helpful.

Other visits to the InterContinental:
1 Oct 2010 - Sugar Hit 2010
10 Oct 2008 - Sugar Hit 2008

PROS: Nice decor, Efficient service, Decent hit of sugar for those who love their desserts
CONS: They said they don't take bookings for Sugar Hit
MUST TRY: As many Sugar Hits as possible in October

SIFF Sugar Hit menu

Homemade amarena cherry, triple chocolate gateau with orange honeycomb and Bailey's macaroons with Brown Brothers Orange Flora Muscat ($20)

Brown Brothers Orange Flora Muscat

Cheese plate with fig paste, lavosh and sourdough ($27)

Long Black coffee ($7)

11 October 2010

Simon weighs in before his Super Size Me trip to the USA (11 Oct 2010)

Super Size Me USA

I'm about to fly out to the USA for 4 weeks so I thought I'd weigh myself in to see how the big meals I hear so much about will affect me. Of course I'm sure they'll be heaps of walking which will counteract the food intake, perhaps even shed some weight if I'm lucky. Here I come San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York and Honolulu with my approximate starting weight of 78.5 kg (minus camera). Thanks for all the reader comments about places to eat in the USA — I hope to spend some considerable time reading through all the suggestions when I arrive. One of my personal goals is to see how I go with eating a McDonalds Big Mac with super sized fries and a coke like on the Super Size Me documentary movie. I'm keen to see how big this mother is going to be in relation to what we get in Sydney. I promise to eat better food after this.

Day 1 – Simon weighing in at approximately 78.5 kg before USA — perhaps minus weight of camera.

10 October 2010

One Six Nine Café: Spring menu, Randwick (25 Sept 2010)

169 Alison Road, Randwick NSW 2031

Cafe gaining local support

One Six Nine Cafe seems to be settling in with it's Spring menu and there's plans for a courtyard out the back which will take advantage of the warmer weather. The freshly squeezed Orange Apple Carrot juice ($5.50) is good although I noticed they haven't really given themselves much bench space to prepare the fruit for the juicer. The Chai Latte ($3.80) was good and not too sweet. Free range eggs with toast ($7.90) is nicely poached and the generous amount of bacon ($3.50) and grilled haloumi ($3) sets it up for a filling breakfast. My generous sized Chicken Club Sandwich ($13.90) comes with free range chicken breast, bacon, avocado, tomato and aoili although there's too much bread for my liking which makes it harder to appreciate the balance of tasty ingredients. I prefer the ratio of bread to ingredients of the club sandwich at Bistro 44 which helps keep the sandwich more moist with every bite.

Service is friendly and efficient and it's a kid friendly cafe with it's kids corner section and mini step in the toilet under the sink. If you're after pancakes like at First Drop Cafe or hash browns like at Baffi & Mo you sadly won't find them on the menu but I'm hoping the owner will somehow find the space in the kitchen to add them as well as corn fritters like at Bill's so I don't have to attempt to queue up for ages to try them. There's a selection of sweet delights in the counter display including gluten free products as well — I've been told the chocolate brownie is yum. Next time I'll be trying the Breakfast Trifle which looked pretty sensational at another table.

Other visits to One Six Nine Cafe:
30 April 2011 - Mixed berry smoothie, Hot chocolate, Omelette with
goats cheese and basil,
Royal Apple pancakes
25 Sept 2010 - Chicken Club Sandwich, Eggs & Toast with Bacon and Haloumi, Fresh juice
19 August 2010 - Cafe opens
18 June 2010 - Promotion

PROS: Decent portions, Gluten-free cakes and bread available, Friendly service, Kid friendly
CONS: Courtyard not ready, No hash browns or pancakes on the menu, Limited space on round tables at the front
MUST TRY: Fresh juice, Breakfast trifle next time

Orange Apple Carrot juice ($5.50)

Chai Latte ($3.80)

Free range eggs with toast ($7.90) plus bacon ($3.50), grilled haloumi ($3)

Chicken Club Sandwich with free range chicken breast, bacon, avocado, tomato and aoili ($13.90)

Not much room on the small round tables


Cake display

Kids area

Kid friendly step in toilet

Opening hours

Courtyard coming soon

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