Spiedo Restaurant and Bar, Sydney

It’s been way too long since I last posted but this is a well deserved, long needed break! Plus, it’s one of my new favourite places which I honestly want to share with everyone!! The post below is a snapshot of the dessert that Speido has to offer and also Sugarhit for Crave Sydney 2011.

Spiedo Dessert Plate: Mix of Strawberry Sorbet, Spiedo Tiramisu, and Amedei Chococlate Barbajada ($18.00)

Strawberry sorbet served on finely chopped strips of fresh strawberry

Fruity flavours were never really my thing but now I am just converted. The strawberry flavour is so refreshing you’ll be finished before you know it and asking for more.

Unique Spiedo Tiramisu

One of my favourites! A deconstructed tiramisu… A crunchy chocolate biscuit based with a shot of coffee served with a soft sponge and cream on the side.

Peanut Butter gelato

The waiter kindly allowed us to choose the gelato on our second Speido Dessert plate. The peanut butter was light and creamy and honestly, much better than I had expected. Would definitely order that one again!

Sugarhit: House-made buttermilk panna cotta, strawberry granita and basil ($20.00)

The panna cotta tasted quite tofu-like but loved the strawberry granita which was so refreshing. Maybe strawberry desserts are their specialty? Anyway, will leave that for you to decide! But remember, sugarhit is available for October 2011 only!

The Food Zoo experience: Highly recommended! The pasta I had last time was really special (will need to blog about it later) and the desserts are absolutely fantastic and refreshing =)

Spiedo Restaurant and Bar
188 Pitt St Westfield Sydeny Level 6
Sydney 2000
T: (02) 8072 9999

Azuma Kushiyaki, Sydney

The long awaited Sugarhit at Azuma Kushiyaki! Well it was more like a light dinner followed by some heavy dessert!! This restaurant is the second Azuma restaurant (original at Chifley Square) which is supposedly cheaper and offers more variety.

The black interior gives a cool modern vibe without losing the traditional Japanese presentation. Pretty plates, cups and chopstick holders really add to the dining experience.

Assorted Sushi 10 pcs ($29.80)

Freshly chosen sushi of the day. It’s not cheap for ten pieces but the servings are moderate beautifully presented =)


Seared Tuna Salad served with Vinaigrette ($16.00)

A little disappointed with the size of the tuna salad and also I expected the tuna to be a bit more raw (i.e. seared like beef tataki) so the texture wasn’t as nice, smooth and chewy. On the other hand though, the vinaigrette really nice and flavorsome.

Spider deep fried soft shell crab ($11.00)

 yummy yummy. I think it’s pretty hard to make a horrible spider roll when there’s so many ingredients to distract your tastebuds. Nevertheless the presentation was really nice and consistent so consider it was a job well done.

Sugarhit 2010: Selection of Eastern and Western-influenced desserts and sweets with drink selection ($20.00)

So Sugarhit included ALL of the following:

– Vanilla Panna Cotta served with Strawberry Coulis: loved it! panna cotta was so smooth but the strawberry coulis just tasted like jam
– Belgian Chocoalte  Mousse Cake with Raspberry Coulis centre & Freeze Dried Raspberry Flakes: I’ve had conflicting opinions on this one. Some saying it’s too rich and the raspberry flakes too sour but combine them together I think it makes a good dessert (though there wasn’t much ‘cake’ in the mousse
– Premium Japanese Matcha Green Tea Ganache Tart: my favourite of the night. The thick green tea ganache filling was awesome!
– Fresh Japanese Wasabi Ganache Tart: I am 100% not a wasabi fan… so one bite and I couldn’t bring myself to finish the rest…
– Petit Almond Financier: cute but wasn’t my favourite
– Freshly Baked Macaroon: I think I had an orange flavoured one (they change every night) and although it was teeny, the flavour was really strong yet fruity which went well against the rich tart and chocolate mousse =)


Being silly and just playing with my food! hehe

Sugarhit wine: Brown Brothers 2009 Orange Muscat & Flora

So just based on the sugarhit, my verdict is… I love it!! Just two important things to remember:
~ Make a booking (especially for sugarhit!)
~ Required one sugarhit per person (there is no other dessert menu available for SIFF)

Azuma Kushiyaki
Regent Place
501 George St
Sydney 2000
T: (02) 9267 7775

Azuma Kushiyaki on Urbanspoon

Grace Cafe, Sydney

Before I start of the Sugarhit post at Grace Cafe, just wanted to quickly mention that we had a bake-off at work today. Basically half the team brought in home-baked goodies and we had: Cheesecake, tiramisu cupcakes and profiteroles with coconut custard filling. We are having another one on Thursday for the rest of the team and maybe the manager will bring in a home-made casserole! I know it’s quite irrelevant but I guess it’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to me during my work career.

Now back to the topic at hand! Last night my family and I went to sugarhit at the Grace Cafe which is part of the Grace Hotel (ah… So many memories). We booked for a table for eight and Sugarhit diners beware! If you decide your group want to alternate, share or even try something different on the menu (I admit, sometimes they are quite large servings), you should make it clear at the booking otherwise the staff will hope for the best and you will be served with a Sugarhit each!

Sugarhit: Devilish chocolate delight served with Brown Brothers Orange Muscat $20

Chocolate is the best. I order anything dessert with chocolate. Chocolate is always the safe bet. You can’t go wrong with chocolate. Well last night we had this amazing chocolate fondant. To be precise, the sugarhit is a chocolate fondant with self-saucing chocolate centre, Kahlua ice cream, chocolate macaroon and chocolate fairy floss. The chocolate center was warm and gooey different to the traditional chocolate fondant where you would expect a chocolate liquid to pour out of the dessert (which sometimes makes me panic when I don’t think I can catch all that drizzling chocolate… not weird at all)!

The only disappointing parts were the waffle basket which was soft and not crunchy at all. And the fact that it took a while to reach the strawberries at the bottom to help balance out the sweetness of the entire dish. Other than that, loved it!

Expresso Coffee Tiramisu – sponge fingers soaked in expresso coffee, mascarpone, , whipped cream and shaved chocolate $14

Nice soft fluffy sponge texture with a strong expresso taste. I personally liked it because I couldn’t taste any alcohol in it… (not a huge fan =P)

Chocolate Berry Mille Feuille – short bread pastry filled with berries, fresh cream and milk custard sauce $14

If you’re looking for a dish with strong flavour and gusto then I don’t think this would be the one to order. The combination of textures (soft fruits and crispy pastry) was nice but the flavour was just lacking. But would be popular for those who are watching their sugar levels and don’t want something too sweet.

Chocolate pannacotta – glazed crisp cafita pastry hash with Grand Mariner Anglaise $15

Don’t be fooled by the name or by the appearance! I didn’t and still don’t know what half the description is (will look that up later) but it didn’t matter because this dish was good. It was popular with the family too. The yellow stringy pastries were crunchy and a nice contrast to the smooth chocolate pannacotta.

Overall a nice experience. And a bonus to the experience was that no public surcharge was applied! Awesomeness!

On a side note, a friend just texted me pictures of Kushiyaki Bar & Grill’s Sugarhit and it looks so amazing! I’m going there tomorrow night (after booking a few weeks in advance  – they were all out last year =O) so I’m super excited! Until then, eat well and dream about food!

Grace Café
Corner of York & King Streets
77 York Street
Sydney NSW 2000
T: (02) 9272 6888

La Botte Da Ercole, Willoughby

Alright, so I’m not really much of a writer (which is probably a good thing that I like to take photos). From now on, the focus will probably be on substance and content – straight to the point with some photos here and there (which is what life should be about!)

A few study buddies and I went to La Botte Da Ercole on a late Sunday night after working on our assignment – ah the “joys” of studying. Anyway, this little restaurant is quite close to where I live – I pass it all the time but it’s so small and cosy and you wouldn’t usually notice it if it weren’t always full on a Friday/Saturday night.

It feels like there’s a lot more than ten to twenty tables in the entire restaurant as the back wall is just one big mirror. You practically have to tip-toe around all the tables to get to your seat but once in, you’re nice and snug (heaven forbid if you need to use the bathroom during the meal!) There is an open kitchen area where pizzas and ovens are prepared which is pretty cool But a bad idea when you’re starving and keep hoping the next dish is yours!

Garlic Bread

I love my garlic bread! (Actually, I love anything with garlic *guilty*) So apart from being a bit hard to chew, the flavor was complete and there isn’t much I have to complain about (can’t say the same for garlic breath afterwards though).


Overall I thought the meal was quite heavy as you can tell from the bruschetta – I don’t think I’ve ever had a cheese topping variation (or maybe I just haven’t tried enough bruschettas). But definitely something different and what’s even better, it was served with a garlic bread base!

Garlic Prawns – prawns, mushrooms, garlic & chilli

This dish wasn’t chilli at all (which really suits me as I don’t eat chilli – clearly not asian enough either) and I loved the abundance of garlic and mushrooms. The prawns were fleshy which was great – just mouthfuls and mouthfuls of flavor! This dish is served with some dipping bread which is essential otherwise the dish becomes too salty!

Tortellini Ai Funghi – Round pasta with veal filling, mushrooms, shallots & cream

The tortellini was a welcome change compared to the other, more oily, dishes. The tortellini was small and delicate and with a little – but right – amount of filling so that the dish was well balanced.

Penne Pesto – Basil, pine nuts, cream & parmesan cheese

The combination was good but definitely way too oily! The four of us struggled to finish this dish. Maybe I’ll try to Bolognese penne next time…

Ercole’s special – Tomato, cheese, ham, cabanossi, onion, capsicum & mushrooms

All my favourite ingredients combined into one! What more could I ask for! The base was nice and thin and the crust was puffy and crispy. I don’t normally eat pizza crust but I thought it wasn’t too bad.

Crème Caramel

No matter how full I am after dinner, there is always always always always room for dessert! I always thought small Italian restaurants limited their desserts to gelato – easy to prepare and serve. So I was quite impressed when the waitress introduced several home-made desserts. The crème caramel wasn’t pretty standard and the taste was a bit unique for my liking so I focused on the remaining desserts!

Vanilla Panna Cotta

I preferred the vanilla panna cotta over the crème caramel and when the others struggled to finish the desserts, I was more than happy to offer my assistance. Afterall, it’s what they teach you in school and what they want you to have at work: good: good team work skills (and the ability to step up… But let’s leave that for another time..)!

Mango Gelato

Delicious, mango gelato with white chocolate coating. However, diners beware! The honey is not enough to stick the gelato to the plate! My eager attack at the gelato almost landed it on the table! This was definitely my favourite dish of the entire night!

Perfect place for a casual night out and I would recommend making reservations!

La Botte Da Ercole
608 Willoughby Rd,
(02) 9958 6785

La Botte Da Ercole on Urbanspoon