Butchers Grill, Melbourne CBD

If you’re visiting Melbourne, you’ll see Butchers Grill advertised in almost every tourist guide and I can’t see why not. The beautiful interiors, vibrant wallpaper and grand chandeliers create an elegant European yet cosy dining atmosphere. The menu was so amazing that I have to admit, I may have over-ordered just a teeny bit for dinner between the boy and I.

Complimentary bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar!

Char-grilled baby octopus with tomato, fennel and feta pasta ($17.00)

Seared scallops with vegetable cream and pork crisps ($18.00)

Snicla – pork fillet filled with smoked ham and cheese served with spring onion and potato salad ($31.00)

Grilled lamb loin with pea puree, salted grapes and flamed capsicum ($38.00)

Bombe Alaska -28 degree vanilla ice cream with warm chocolate center and flamed meringue  ($15.00)

The Food Zoo experience: My favourite dish was the feta salad and the Bombe Alaska (which took a while to choose from the amazing mouthwatering dessert menu!). Was a bit disappointed with the scallops which were slightly overcooked but don’t think this would deter me from coming back next time!

Butchers Grill
141 Bourke St
Melbourne CBD
T: (03) 9639 1222

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Sepia, Sydney

We ordered the lunch set menu which included 4 courses for $110 and for the first time ever, I would say it was fine-dining money well spent (although my money wasn’t really spent… ^o^)!

Lovely comfortable interiors, relaxed atmosphere perfect for all occasions from business lunches to romantic dinner dates (yes I will definitely be taking Mr TH very, very soon). The waitstaff were wonderful and down to earth – not the arrogant attitude one may often encounter at a fine dining restaurant… (not going to mention any names…)

“Scallop sushi” – Nori rolled scallop, pickled ginger, puffed sushi rice, avocado cream

Yummy scallops. If there are scallops on the menu, never fear – I’m all over it! These were delicious and perfectly seared. I know the exterior doesn’t look very appealing but they were delicious! Along with the avocado cream and pickled ginger. Absolutely amazing and I was blown away by how it was so delicately presented. Love that detail!

Butter poached cuttlefish, candied watermelon rind, ink bread, mandarin oil, plum wine and green tea

I’ve never found it most appealing when food is present with froth on the top. Regardless, I dug into the dish and noticed the strong mandarin taste which really added a tangy twist to the dish. The first time I actually had raw cuttlefish and now I’m hooked – was so fresh you would be able to feel it crunching in your mouth!

Roasted pasture fed Angus beef tenderloin, braised short rib, buffalo milk “tofu” sansho roasted quinoa, garlic flowers – medium cooked

I love it when steak is beautifully cooked – I get so nervous when I am asked how I would like my steak cooked. Sometimes I want medium and it comes out medium-rare. Other times I order medium-rare and it comes out well done. Well never fear, at Sepia, the steak was delivered exactly the way it was ordered. Our table had ordered both medium and medium-rare tenderloin and I was pleasantly surprised to find them both clearly distinguishable when they arrived. The “tofu” was a bit strange but I couldn’t have loved the garlic flowers more.

“Chocolate forest”
Soft chocolate, chestnut, elderflower cream, mandarin and bergamot sorbet, blackberry candy
green tea, licorice, chocolate twigs, crystallised lemon thyme

Chocolate paradise. There aren’t any better words to describe it! The soft chocolate in the description is actually a pile of rich chocolate mousse-like substance at the very bottom of an interesting pile of chocolate twigs all balanced out by strong flavoured fruity sorbet.

Overall I would highly recommend this place and can’t wait to go again!

 Sepia
201 Sussex St
Sydney 2000

Sepia on Urbanspoon

Flavours of Peking, Castlecrag

When you mention Peking food, the first thing that comes to my mind tends to be Peking duck and dumplings. It’s not exactly boring, but a lot of people tend to overlook all the strong flavors and variety that Chinese cuisine has to offer. If you’re looking for one of the best and most authentic Chinese restaurants on the Lower North Shore then Flavors of Peking is the place to be! It’s tucked away in a little shopping village at Castlereagh where there’s plenty of parking conveniently located under the restaurant.

Jelly Fish ($28.80) : pre-order

Unfortunately it was difficult for me to capture a picture of the dish as the waitress immediately started dividing the food for us. Anyway, this is a nice cold dish that we always order called “jelly fish” (according to the menu… strange since the dish has no jelly fish at all!).  A combination of sea cucumber, chicken feed and lightly cooked scallops mixed in a mustard sauce topped with spring onions. I’m not a fan of chilli or mustard but I can never resist having a hefty portion of this dish!

Shredded chicken with bean flat vermicelli ($17.00)

Another cold dish – cucumber, shredded chicken and vermicelli – also another one of my favourites. It comes neatly plated but once again I was too slow with my camera and the waitress had already poured the sesame sauce and mixed the dish for the table.

Peking style thick soup with fish fillet ($70.40) : pre-order

Exactly as the name suggests – fish soup with a whole bunch of tender fish fillet, tofu, vegetables and herbs.  The soup base is light and you definitely feel like you’re getting a hefty does of  fish and vegetables! Once again, requires pre-ordering  based on the number of guests.

Smoked duck ($55.80) : pre-order

As the duck is placed in the centre of the table I can already smell the smoky flavour from my chair. I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of this dish but I can never ever resist having a piece as the meat just looks so tender and perfectly cooked. The dish may seem pricey but don’t forget, it is quite a significant portion (too much for 10 people!)

Beggars chicken ($60.80) : pre-order

Beggars chicken, not my cup of tea but the boy insisted after reading some reviews online. Such a strange name! So one does what one must do… Google it the moment I get home! Legend has it that a homeless, starving beggar had a chicken but didn’t have a stove to prepare it. Desperate for food, he came up with an idea. He killed the chicken and covered it with mud and baked it with fire… For more information, click here.

It’s a shame that they ran out of space to present it at our table (due to the overwhelming amount of food we ordered) because apart from the presentation, the food itself was underwhelming though I think it’s because I was already too full! The first layer (bread dough shell) is MASSIVE but once removed, you’ll find a juicy chicken stuffed with pork and seasoning and wrapped in lotus leaves.

Fried fresh meat buns – 10 pcs ($24.80) : pre-order

Always recommended by staff when you’re trying to make a booking though I don’t really see what the fuss is all about. Sure it looks nice and perfectly pan fried on the outside but the thick bun exterior and lack of soup inside made me quite the unhappy eater =(

Radish pastry dumplings ($8.80 each)

ANOTHER pre-order dish and at $8.80 each don’t be fooled… They’re pretty much the size of your palm! I was a bit confused though that it didn’t seem to taste sweet or savoury despite those little shreds of bacon… But the crunchy radish shreds were nice.

Chrysanthemum fish ($58.80)

Delicious friet fish then fried with vegetables in sweeet and sour sauce. If you’re not a big cooked fish lover (like me), this dish is relatively easy to eat and I’m sure kids would love it too!

I must apologise but I actually have no clue what this dish is called (in english anyway). Basically, the bowl at the back is a thick seafood soup with some vegetables and at the front, it’s similar to this light crispy pieces of rice crisps. The waitstaff are usually quick to divide the dish but I would recommend adding the rice crisps just as you are about to eat the dish so that they don’t go soggy before you finish.

Quick fried soft-shell crab with salty egg yolk ($35.80)

By far one of the best dishes during dinner and according to all guests that I have ever dined with, the best soft-shell crab to be served anywhere in Sydney! A must try!!!

Peking toffee apple – 6 pieces ($14.80)

Fried apple, coated in toffee syrup then dipped in ice-water for the toffee to harden. A delicious famous Peking dessert with super sweet toffee coating and then balanced with a big chunk of hot apple.

Crispy red bean pancake ($11.80)

I had an absolute blast and almost passed out from being so full after dining. Flavors of Peking is best dined with large groups of people as the servings are so big and as they say, the more the merrier! Just remember, all the awesome stuff needs to be pre-ordered which makes it really difficult since there’s no online or take-away menu (for pre-order items) but hopefully this entry would’ve helped! Enjoy~

Flavours of Peking
100 Edinburgh Rd
Castlecrag 2068
T: (02) 9958 3288

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Sous Le Soleil, Roseville

So a few weeks ago, the weather was horrible and unpredictable, I had  a big party the night before and now was just too exhausted to cook at home (not that I cook lol). Point is, there are several reasons by I was super excited about coming here to Sous Le Soleil cafe…

1) It’s in the middle of a park – a cafe? in the middle of nowhere? No way!
2) Recommended by a friend – I don’t usually
3) It was raining and I felt like going outdoors just to be rebellious!

As I mentioned before, the place is practically a little cottage house right in the middle of the park (next to the oval and tennis courts). There is a back entrance to the garden where the cafe is or you can choose to enter through the front where there are a few nicely decorated bedrooms with all sorts of decorations and displays for sale.

Complimentary sourdough

The waitstaff were absolutely lovely and very accommodating and seemed to come along at the right time when we were ready to order. We got complimentary sourdough with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to start off with… This was great because I was already starving to begin with!

Flat white coffee ($4.50)

To be honest I thought the coffee wasn’t really extraordinary. However the hot chocolate I got later on was actually one of the better ones I’ve tasted.

Seared Scallops – entree size ($19)

I loved this dish – the scallops were big and juicy and the potato basket was just so unique! You can get it entree or main size and now just thinking about it.. I wished I’d gotten a main. Literally every single table ordered one – no joke! Anyway, there’s some pink stuff on the very bottom which is a salmon rillette. I loved this stuff! Basically diced salmon which was half cooked so you could taste all that omega 3 without being overwhelmed!

Honey Roasted Duck Breast –  ($33)

An interesting dish which was quite satisfying to eat. Served with a beetroot reduction, rocket & hazelnut salad& toasted fruit bread. I thought the salad was really nice, light and simple. I’d finished it all up and was wanting more before I had even realised!

Mushroom and Brie Tartlet with a mesclun leaf salad ($19.00)

Unfortunately by the time I got to this tartlet I was already feeling quite full. I was a little disappointed as I thought I would take a bite and it would be oozing all this melted brie cheese but unfortunately that wasn’t the case =O

Crepe Suzette ($15.00)

Description: Crepes cooked in an orange sauce, flambéed in a grand marnier liqueur served with vanilla ice cream. I wasn’t super keen on this dessert as I like my dessert creamy and chocolatey but the boy seemed super keen so I gave in (just this once!). Result? He loved it but I found it way too sour! However I loved the ice cream! The taste was so light and you could see all the little vanilla bean seeds in the ice-cream which just made it so much more exciting!

Overall I loved this place though found it a tad too pricey given it was a late Sunday brunch. Given that though, I would definitely go back because i can’t stop thinking about those scallops!

Sous Le Soleil
Roseville Park
60A Clanville Rd,
Roseville 2069
T: (02) 9880 8815

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