Saturday, March 25, 2017

Auvers Cafe, Rhodes

Having now been working in Rhodes for a good 7 months and scrapping the bottom of the barrel for lunch options, it was a nice surprise to discover that Auvers Cafe opened roughly 6 months ago. Rhodes isn't kind of suburb you would expect to find a cafe of this kind and whilst C was sceptical, K managed to convince him to visit on a Saturday because let's face it, who wants to deal with Sydney inner city traffic and parking just to have a good feed?

We were pleasantly surprised. The menu is geared to the sort of food we like the most - fresh Australian brunch style but with an Asian twist. There's something comforting about those flavours for us.

I'm usually not one to depart from my usual flat white, because few drinks on cafe menus are worth the sacrifice of that morning caffeine hit. But here, I was so intrigued by their black sesame latte that I decided to forego my coffee. It had a good hit of sesame without being over powering or milky. Also on the menu is a taro latte and a tumeric latte. Unfortunately we didn't get a chance to try those but I will definitely do so next time.
Sesame Latte
Onto the food. K ordered the cured salmon which comprised a yuzu and soy cured salmon with caviar, pomegranates, green peas, yuzu gel, pickled radish and crispy rice paper. The intense umami of this dish makes it a winner, the sourness of the yuzu and pomegranates neatly balanced with the soy sauce. It was a very generous portion of salmon too (although half hidden in the photo below) - enough to be shared without too much bickering!

C opted for the smashed avo with sweet corn miso and furikake. He added an onsen egg to this along with (of course) bacon. An interesting Asian twist on an Aussie brunch staple.

Scattered around the cafe are also quirky artworks, jewellery and accessories that can be purchased. There isn't a lot yet in their collection but it will be interesting to see if this feature of the cafe grows - I was certainly tempted to buy something!
Next time you're in the area (and contemplating those Ikea meatballs) or just sick of the options around the Chatswood area like us, you should come check these guys out! We found that their prices are also quite reasonable considering the portions, atmosphere and food quality.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Sokyo - Sushi Omakase

It's not often you go to a restaurant and at the end of the meal, you're booking your next visit.

This is what happened when we finally had the omakase meal at Sokyo.

You'll see from our blog that we're big fans of Japanese food, especially sushi. Whilst Sokyo's omakase menu does not surpass the quality in Japan (e.g. our experience at Sushiko Honten), this is definitely a league above the other offerings in Sydney and we are looking forward to revisiting for K's birthday!

As with sushi omakase experiences in Japan, you sit at the sushi bar and are served by a single sushi chef. The sushi bar where Sokyo's sushi omakase takes place only sits a maximum of five guests and has a single seating each night. This makes for an intimate atmosphere (despite the busyness of the wider restaurant) and great interactions with the chef, Takashi Sano!

Sano-san was very friendly and happily explained each piece of sushi to us (what it was, where it was from and how it was cooked). There are few places in Australia where you can watch such a performance, learn about food and enjoy a great meal at the same time.

The highlights of the night included:

  • 4 different types of tuna, including kama toro!
  • Cured scampi with uni and caviar
  • Blue cheese donuts with black truffle ice-cream

I'd love to give a description of each of the sushi we had but unfortunately in between changing jobs and phones, my record of what we ate was lost! So I will let C's photos do the talking and we will post a more detailed post after our next visit in November.  For now, enjoy the eye candy below. :)

Snapper sashimi with sea grapes

Steamed abalone
Crab with egg yolk sauce and black truffle

O-toro - Western Australia

O-toro - Japan
Chu toro
Salmon belly
Kama (neck) toro - Japan (definitely a highlight. Even more melt-in-your-mouth than o-toro)
Seared scampi
Grilled scallops (with the most crispy piece of nori I've ever had)
Grilled salmon belly
Cured scampi, uni and caviar (one of the highlights)
Tuna riblets (unfortunately my least favourite dish for the night)
Squid with black pepper

Toro handroll
(very different to what we've tried in Japan which has a more savoury flavour.  This one was much sweeter.)
Blue cheese donuts and black truffle ice-cream (Aaaaammmaaazzzinggggg)
(came back to Sokyo a few months later and it was no longer on their menu)
Matcha molten cake and white chocolate ice-cream

Monday, October 3, 2016

Choux Love, Sydney

We originally wrote this post early in the year but never got around to publishing it. Some parts may be out of date.

How does 20 layers of thin crepes interspersed between layers of cream sound?  If like us, you're already hungry, read on about the mille crepes at Choux Love!

"Mille" means 1000 in French and whilst there isn't actually 1000 layers of crepe, this classic French cake has been given a bit of an Asian spin by Choux Love and is worth checking out.

Choux Love is hidden in Sydney's Chinatown, in a little arcade nestled between Dixon and Sussex Street. The interior is simple and quite dainty and the kitchen occupies more than half of the actual shop space.  The owners may not be French, but they're certainly onto something, giving this traditional French recipe a bit of an Asian spin.

C went back quite a few times to buy these cakes so we could try a few more flavours and not stuff ourselves silly with sugar all in one dose.  After many tries, our verdict remains the same - the durian mille crepe is by far the favourite.  The durian flavours offsets the sweetness of the cake and we only wish that the durian flavours are even more intense!

If you're looking for dessert in Chinatown, definitely give this a try!

Durian mille crepe
Strawberry and rosewater mille crepe

Mango mille crepe
Green team mille crepe
The arcade

Choux Love
Address: Shop 12/363 Sussex Street 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Nel Restaurant

Trout, beetroot

'Roast dinner'

Game, blackcurrent

Onion and rosemary scone

Sweetcorn, fennel, popcorn, balsamic

Chicken, asparagus, chive, garlic

Kingfish tandoori, smoked yoghurt, lobster dust

Pork, apple, leek, potato

Guava, rhubarb, yoghurt, ginger

Quince, pain d'epices, honey, bay leaf

Orange and miso marshmallow on rosemary twig

Coconut ball with liquid passionfruit