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Archive for August, 2010

Sushi dinner at Koi, Woolwich

Incredibly high quality Sushi. That’s all I’d like to say.
We’ve got a variety of Japanese restaurants available in Sydney area, and deciding where to eat can be challenging if you have never been to those. That’s when people throw me a question “Where do you usually go for Japanese?” And I usually give them a list of restaurants – from cheap quick to expensive course eat. I’d say, it’s hard to pick one if you don’t know what you are particularly after, and know where to go.

Today, Mitsu, Mayuri and I are determined to enjoy some quality sushi dinner, and we are here at Koi in Woolwich tonight. This is the place to go for sushi for their skilled chefs, great service, and of course their amazing quality of sushi. What’s my credibility? I’m Japanese and my mum is from sushi restaurant owner family, that’s my two cents.

Sano san the sushi chef in the main counter. A few years back, I had met him at Mitsu & Mayuri’s housewarming party where he had served us freshly made sushi. We sit at the counter, and of course went for his omakase sushi.

I guess it’s good for a group gathering to order assorted sushi plates along with other food to go with, but if you are after some great sushi, it’s better to sit at the counter and go for a la carte or omakase asking the chef what’s particularly fresh and good on the day. (That also means the higher price tag comes with it.)

Type of sushi they serve at the counter doesn’t need extra soy sauce to dip. It’s already seasoned the best. The sushi rice is a bit smaller than ones that you would see at Japanese restaurants, but this is the preferred size to enjoy and concentrate on the flavour and texture of the fish at its max.

And piece by piece good looking sushi was put on our plates.

Starting with Tsukidashi (Small entrée) of Octopus and grilled tuna. My god, look at these translucent slices of flesh! Each of them has its best fresh texture, and seasoned differently to match with its characteristic of the texture.

Chutoro (medium fat tuna) that Sano san confidently claimed to be great was exceptionally good indeed that it tasted almost like Ootoro (The fattest) – melting texture and hmm-hmm fatty layers like premium wagyu beef. One of the highlight for me was the Shimesaba (vinegar marinated mackerel) with a paper-thin konbu.

Each mouthful of the sushi, I was only to moan and surrender myself to its flavour.

The only designated drinker of the night.

After the array of these beautiful sushi, Sano san asked us if we were still up for more. We requested a few that we particularly liked. Then, we realised that the blocks of fishes at the counter, which was fully filled upon arriving, was pretty much gone. D..did..we..eat..that… much…..?
He quickly improvised and made us a bowl of Chirashi sushi to finish up. Damn, this is NICE! I wish I could come get this for lunch.

What a great dinner full of fantastic sushi! Honestly, I wouldn’t usually even feel like stuffing myself with sushi, especially at sushi-go-round type of places. Three of us were fully stuff with exceptional sushi tonight and reassured to come back for sushi to enjoy again soon.

Strongly recommended to sit at the counter and go for omakase!

102 Woolwich road, Woolwich
9817 6030

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Pig & Pinot dinner @ Chophouse (2)

Food bloggers LOOOOVE wow factors in food. The evening was certainly one of them – 11kg of slow toasted organic suckling pig curved at the table. *squeals* What’s not to love about that! Pig & Pinot food blogger dinner was hosted by Chophouse, and a group of hungry food bloggers participated to enjoy and shared the feast time.

Adam Heathcote, operations manager of Pacific Restaurant Group, gave a speech – and I were to *ding-ding* and wiggle my fingers at every yummy keyword he threw like juicy, tender, etc. (Yes yes, I was listening.)

Our glasses were poured with Ostler Pinot Gris from southeastern New Zealand, and then the first dish was placed at our table.

The first dish: Jamon & Italian Buffalo mozzarella with roasted fennel, spring onion and almonds.

Silky mozzarella served on top of shaved jamon along with rosted fennel and spring onion. Creamy cheese, perfect saltiness from jamon, sweetness from roasted fennel and spring onion, and the acidity of Balsamic vinegar were such an amazing combination of flavour. It went really well with the Pinot that my wine glass quickly became empty. (and quickly refilled again. yay)

The second: Ceviche of Hervey bay sea scallops topped with Mt Lowe truffle, avruga and apple.

These fresh scallops had the freshness in the texture – you know, that bit of crunchiness/firmness in soft silky texture? Adam explains that the truffle was sourced from Oberon and shaved for dishes less than 24 hours. It was actually quite mild truffle – I thought I was the only one thinking like that and didn’t want to appear to be a pretentious foodie, but I wasn’t alone on this. Phew lol
AND. Everyone suddenly stopped followed by collective gasps.

OH. MY. GOD. Executive chef, David Clarke arrived at our table with what looks to me a golden treasure. With a tail.
Some might say “too graphic” or “so sad” but I can only say “YUM” We quickly whipped out our cameras and shoot shoot shoot! And we weren’t the only ones excited, other guests around us sticked their necks to take a peek. Definitely the highlight of the night that deserves to be the name of the dinner.

The suckling pig was quickly carved by the skilled hands of knife. Oh the cracklings ♥

Hmmm it just gives me shivering by looking at the shot. Crispy golden crackling and succulent juicy flesh!!

And of course we are not afraid of unusual parts of food. All to be eaten.

Side: Cauliflower Gratin

Side: Wedge salad. (hmmm the runny yolk!)

Side: Green beans

The gorgeous suckling pig was served along with these side dishes as well as apple sauce, jus and Harrisa. Along with the main, 2006 Ostler Caroline’s Pinot Noir was poured.

Dessert: Caramelised Banana Cheesecake with buttersotch & peanut brittle

Stuffed myself with the suckling pig, I was sending my prayer – “God, if you have to take me, it’s now.” The lovely cheesecake arrived, and I continue my prayer with “hold that thought.” It looked a bit heavy especially shortly after the pork, but not too heavy at all. In fact, I clean the plate completely.

Dessert: Swiss Milk Chocolate block

“Do you think the chocolate is coming too?” – whispering to Richard. And they didn’t disappoint me. It’s got toffee hazelnuts inside!

Along with the dessert, two bottles of XO Hennessy Cognac and Berta Grappa Nebbiolo Tre Soli Tre were put on our table. I know from previous bad experience, I decided to be caution and pour into my glass veeeery veeeery little. Confirmation: “Grappa is new Italian for Petrol.”

Absolutely fantastic dinner with full of joy – that’s what I can describe the night. Chophouse is opening up a new upstairs section in a few months, and they’ll be roasting different meat every night, and curved to order. I MUST COME BACK FOR THAT.

We were also given a bagful of goodies to take home with. Vacuum sealed dry aged Delmonico, Lindt macarons and Chophouse chocolate, along with David’s 8 steps to the perfect steak instructions. Awww thank you very very much!

Huge thanks to Adam, David, and Sarah for the awesome evening!

hungry.digital.elf. dined as a guest of Chophouse.

25 Bligh St, Sydney
1300 246 748

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Dinner at Tetsuya’s

Have you guys seen the posts from the fantastic Christmas in July dinner over at Billy’s? I’m damn bummed that I couldn’t make it – so many hearty dishes & sleepover with favourite food bloggers – Oh… I shouldn’t think about that again, it’ll only make me depressed ;p

So in the mean time, what the hell was I doing…? well…

I managed to get a table at Tetsuya’s for dinner with such a last minute notice!! A friend in need is a friend indeed. AMEN TO THAT! This is my third time having dinner at Tetsuya’s, and it always excites me with what dish would come next.

What really impresses me at Tetsuya’s every time is that the great dinning experience starts with such a superior service as soon as we put our feet into the restaurant. After warm greetings, we were seated by the window looking over the Japanese garden. Complimentary champagne were poured into our glasses, we proposed a toast, and patiently waited for the first dish.

First course was the warm chesnut soup. Silky smooth nutty flavour just exploded! It was really a nice dish to start the whole dinning experience. And. I was seriously moaning in PLEASURE with the second dish – how can Kingfish be this tasteful?! And more surprise continues. Scampi, goat cheese and silken tofu. Scampi and tofu was the combination I have had before somewhere else, but with goat cheese? The creamy soft texture of scampi and other two was simply awesome.

And now we’re onto mains. “OH THIS IS MY FAVOURITE!” – I had to cut in with my perky voice as our waiter was about to explain the signature dish – Confit ocean trout with ShioKonbu. Another highlight of mains was the ox tail with sea cucumber. The ox tail was tender and flavourful, and sea cucumber, which I have to admit that I’m not too found of, was nicely crunchy as it should be and went really well with refreshing yuzu drizzle. And Angus beef steak – like Tetsuya himself says in the recent TV appearance, it’s meaty and tastes the meat-ness itself.

Dessert time. REALLY? It was nearing the end of courses.
The first up, pear sorbet with walnuts & bread pudding. (oops, I had “peach” written in the caption…) Pear sorbet was to cleanse our palette – icy refreshment surely has set my mouth for the pudding, which was rich and creamy with fragrant cinnamon flavour. I was a bit surprised to see such a simple dessert, but I’ve got to say this was the best bread pudding I ever had so far. (hmm, but again, I don’t think I ever had enough to compare to begin with, to be honest lol)

As you might already know, the whole dinner course at Tetsuya’s lasts at least for 3-4 hours. And besides these great dishes we were served, I always enjoy the exciting anticipation for the next dishes. That’s one of the reasons I MUST go back periodically to find out their new dishes!

Who’s coming with me next time?!

Check out the last two previous dinners at Tetsuya’s too!

529 Kent Street, Sydney NSW