Friday, December 27, 2013

John Montagu

Address: 144 Cathedral St, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Trading Hours: Monday to Friday 7am — 4pm; Weekends 8am — 4pm
(The real website will be up soon!)

I haven't lived in Sydney for awhile, however was invited by a friend for a get-together at his new cafe. It was all so mysterious I didn't even get the name of the cafe, just a street address and assurance good coffee and street parking was available (these are 2 very important things for me!).

Honestly had no idea who or what a 'John Montagu' was and in preparation for this blog post had to google to see if the cafe had put anything up to make my life easier. Fortunately, for us modern folk Wikipedia quickly comes to the rescue as the top google hit to explain that "John Montagu was the 4th Earl of Sandwich..."

I was d-ungry (dangerously/deliriously hungry) and was told that the beef cheeks would slow me down, so that was my choice: 

Pictured above: Beef Cheeks (closed) sandwich: 12 hour beef cheeks, cheddar, sauerkraut, spanish onion, house glaze on white bread. 

Most of the meals/sandwiches at this cafe are served open style I am told however the beef cheeks is served closed. I recommend to eat it with cutlery as the sauce and buttered bread makes it slightly difficult to pick up, and eat it quick before the juices soak through. That being said, it is both a delicate and substantial meal - there is some evil saucery happening in that kitchen! Upon quizzing, the chef is actually trained in French cuisine - and this is definitely apparent in the depth and texture of his sauces. My hats off, also to the chef who is slicing beef cheek to be placed in a sandwich - this is no mean feat to try to make look palatable! 

Pictured below: Maffra Cheese & Sage Toastie with ham - The sage gives it a fresh, yet slightly salty hit - a moorish yet satisfying taste in the mouth. 

Also of note is the 'daily pastries'. I had the banana bread (not pictured) - it is baked with no butter and simply devine. It is not the size of your head, food-coma inducing, nor too sweet, which suits me just fine after a beef cheek sandwich!

There is a selection of drinks available - I do appreciate the iced teas with non-pedestrian flavours and less sugar. I'll be back for the Elderflower and Mint Soda next time :) 

If I sat there any longer, I literally could have tried the whole menu. The portion sizes are just right and prices reasonable. While the skeptics may think this is just a plug for someone I know - let me just say you probably wouldn't want me at your restaurant because I am an extremely discerning customer and it takes a lot to actually impress me. 
John Montagu has only been open for 4 weeks at the point of this post, however I can see it quickly catching on and with the limited seating, recommend you try it for yourself before it becomes the next queue-into-the-next-suburb brunch destination.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Curry 36 (Currywurst) - Berlin, Germany

Above: Currywurst - cut up sausage with ketchup sauce, sprinkled with curry power. Served with frites (chips) - please remember to order the mayonnaise with the frites (not pictured) because the mayonnaise makes the dish!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Le Louis XV (Alain Ducasse)

Address: Hotel de Paris, Place du Casion, Monte-Carlo
Tel: +377 98 06 88 64

 Below: Amuse Bouche

Above: Entree
Below: Signature French Switchblade Cutlery Knife
Below: Main - Fois Gras (the liver looking protein with char marks), sweet breads, roasted peaches & pigeon. Comes with the little potato puffs you see delicately wrapped in the napkin - I call them reverse potato chips because they appear to be 'popped' from the inside. 

 Above: Main - Pork with seasonal vegetables (pork was served in its own saucepan and cut up infront of patron, and sauced at the table).

 Below: Macarons - not sure what flavour but a guess would be hazelnut or some sort of creme.

Above: Dessert - Wild Strawberries in own sauce/coulis with mascarpone sorbet. 
Below: Chocolate gold 'bar'. Very rich inside with multiple layers & textures. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Peppermill Brasserie

Address: Shop 2, Centennial Plaza, Sharp St, Cooma NSW 2630
Tel: (02) 6452 7222

I don't have any photos of this cafe, but I kept their business card because I do recall the superb service I received, the well-executed coffee and meals.

I was randomly driving to/through Jindabyne which is near the NSW Skifields and stopped here for a break from the monotonous driving.

If you are in the vicinity, stop by Peppermill for a good coffee & cafe-style lunch. It sure beats the obligatory Maccas drivethrough or dodgy servo coffee which comes out of a drip tray.

Izakaya Chuji (Melbourne CBD)

Address: 165 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Tel: (03) 9663 8118
Opening Hours: Lunch - Mon to Fri 12pm to 2:15pm; Dinner - Mon to Thur & Sat 6pm to 10:15pm; Fri 6pm to 11:15pm.

If you are looking for a Japanese beer snack appetizer style menu, this is a viable option in the Melbourne's CBD.

I went here on recommendation by a friend, it certainly has the variety in the menu to please, but I can't recall  anything being standout or worth raving about. I'm not a drinker, so maybe my lack of beer tainted my tastebuds or ability to taste the point of difference.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ricaro's Cafe

Address: Jamison Plaza, Macquarie, ACT
Tel: (02) 6251 2666
Opening Hours: 7 days, for Breakfast - Afternoon Tea, close 5:30pm. 

This place is definitely a little gem in Canberra's suburbs. Located inside a busy shopping plaza, I totally had no idea it existed - for 3 years! It is just bustling with atmosphere and all the staff were super patient & nice. That dessert cabinet is a bit Willy-Wonka-meets-the-Mad-Hatter! Absolutely love it - very Adriano Zumbo, or maybe better! I was there for salty treats (i.e. lunch) so didn't get to sample the desserts but honestly I'd had a very hard time choosing between the thing that looked like a bomb and that pineapple-looking meringue thing.

Below: Wagyu Sliders with Truffle Fries. Saw this on the menu and I knew I was a sucker. The fries are drizzled in truffle oil and shaved parmesan is added to give it more aroma & bite.  Also pictured is the 'Tony Montana' Foccacia with Turkey, Swiss Cheese, Lettuce, Avocado & Cranberry sauce - it works!

La Cantina

Address: 4 Iluka St, Narrabundah ACT 2604
Tel: (02) 6239 5556

A highly recommended Italian restaurant, carefully tucked away in Suburban Canberra.

Sauces are made with warmth, heart & soul and true to the traditional flavours respecting produce and cuisine.

I had the gnocchi which was a bite-sized,  more doughy version, but it was the Neapolitan sauce which brought the texture alive.

I enviously eyed off my dining companions' marinara & pizza - both of which looked more than palatable.

Reasonably priced, quiet, white tablecloth location perfect for catching up with old friends over a bottle of wine. Highly recommended as a Canberra destination.