The Meat & Wine Co, Sydney

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Complimentary red wine with Citibank Credit Card

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Half Rack pork ribs ($39.00)

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Monte Grain Select = 350g rib eye steak ($39.00)

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Home-made garlic mash ($6.00)

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High country pork belly – char-grilled strip pork belly caremalised in palm sugar and served with a fresh snow pear and carrot salad . ($16.00)

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Farmhouse lamb shanks – slow cooked with celery, onion, carrot and herbs. Served with garlic mash ($30.00)

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All the food on my place – looks like a buffet!

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Creme brulee – honey and cinnamon creme brulee with balsamic macerated strawberries ($12.00)

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Chocolate & pistachio fondant – served with vanilla bean ice cream and a white chocolate and pistachio nougatine ($15.00)

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Perfectly melted centre!!

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Milk Tart – Sweet homemade custard with a crumble biscuit base and cinnamon dust ($12.00)

The Food Zoo experience:  TGIF! For a week ago, that is. Nothing like some fine wining and dining with the unusual group of girlfriends! The complimentary wine was lovely (especially for someone who never normally drinks) and the garlic mash and perfectly cooked steak were my favourites!  The fondant was to die for and had the perfectly melted centre. Yummmmmmmmy! Service was average and overall the meal cost us $45 per person which was quite reasonable. I was a bit delirious after a long week (and maybe the half a glass of wine) but all in all, nothing but good memories about this place!

The Meat & Wine Co.
31 Wheat Rd
IMAX Theatre Complex
Sydney NSW

The Meat & Wine Co Darling Harbour on Urbanspoon

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

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Olio, St Leonards

I have actually wanted to try this place out for a long time after seeing it on  pigged-out but since it’s only opened during weekdays it has been quite difficult to arrange (with long work hours and all…).  The place wasn’t as packed as I thought it would be given the Friday night but I guess they had their busy period during happy hour at the bar. So basically, good location (The Forum, St Leonards), good food and according to my friends, good cocktails!

Specials for the night though nothing appealed to our table in particular… The regular menu looked appealing enough!

Wagyu skirt steak (MB8) w green beans, pecorino cheese, hazelnut dressing ($15.00)

We had to ration this piece between five people (our half of the table) and I couldn’t really tell it was wagyu… Tasted a lot like salami though!

Salmon and potato fish cakes with shaved fennel, radish, lemon aioli ($14.00)

I really liked this entree… A nice texture of little chunks of potato and salmon without any offputting fishy taste. Nice enough to be enjoyed without the lemon aioli (though I couldn’t resist and put a bit too much aioli).

Loved this dish – Nice juicy scallops perfectly complimented on a seafood vegetable pastry. The dish was amongst one of the favourites at dinner and I think it’s the fennel puree that makes do very interesting!

Linguine w QLD tiger prawns, tomato, chilli, rocket & extra virgin olive oil ($21.00)

Nicely cooked linguine (loved the texture which reminded me of Chinese noodles “yi mein” or “e-fu”) with a little chilly tint to the dish – loved it!

Char-grilled grainfed beef striploin with cafe de paris butter & fries ($31.00)

Most of the table was dissatisfied with this dish – I am a HUGE lover of steak… MEDIUM RARE steak! Although the waiter had specifically told us it was medium rare, we found that it was cooked exactly like the medium steak we had ordered. Not happy Jan!

Prawn & chorizo sausage with chilli, tomato, & mozzarella cheese ($18.00)

Yummy pizza with a nice thin crust… Chilli but worth it!

Greek lamb with megadarra, tzatziki, eggplant & olive salad ($29.00)

The only thing that made me want to eat this was because it came with tzaziki haha. I don’t eat olives and don’t recall eating much eggplant but the lamb was quite nice – better than the steak at least!

Mushroom Risotto

Strong mushroom taste in nicely cooked creamy risotto!

Arme de Gaugin from La Renaissance

We didn’t try any dessert (such as chocolate pudding, tiramisu etc) from Olio because we had to save our stomach’s for the birthday cake! A nice berry mousse and sponge cake from La Renaissance (owned by the family that also runs Baroque). Yummy yummy yummm!

Olio Cafe | Bar
205 Pacific Hwy
St Leonards, 2065
T: (02) 9439 8988

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Toraya, Chatswood

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been a while but I’m back from my holiday and still alive! Unfortunately I got sick on holidays so wasn’t able to enjoy all the food and flavours of Asia. Alas never fear, there’s always next time…

So a few nights after getting back, the boy and I decided to dine at Toraya – one of our frequent dining spots in Chatswood Mandarin Centre. Toraya is casual dining yet the food a bit exquisite so I guess that’s why I’m always back for more (even though I think it’s quite pricey!)

Green tea

Complimentary seaweed

A little complimentary seaweed just to get your appetite working if you’re not too hungry.

Tontoro – lightly salted grilled pork neck skewers ($7.50)

These skewers are perfectly grilled and still sizzling hot when served! It’s the first time I’ve ever ordered Tontoro – a nice balance of crunchy and slightly fatty pork neck which I can definitely see myself ordering again in the future!

Soft-shell crab ($15.80)

The boy’s usual favorite – soft shell crab – was quite a disappointment this time. It didn’t seem battered enough and was soggy to eat. I’m not sure whether it’s always like this since we usually order the spider roll (soft-shell crab sushi roll) so we’ve never really noticed. I guess we won’t be ordering the dish by itself again.

Wagyu steak ($26.00)

My all time favourite! The steak usually comes out while still cooking with steam coming from the hot-plate but tonight it was already finished cooking by the time it reached our table. Nevertheless, it was still perfectly cooked (medium rare… yummmmmmy), sprinkled with radish and shallots and served with potato roe mash and fried lotus slices on the side.

Miso soup ($3.50)

Yummy miso soup – another favourite!

Rock’n Roll ($15.00)

California roles made awesome with oven-baked scallops and a generous topping of creamy mayonnaise. What more could you ask for? My favorite dish and ordered every time!

Black sesame and Green tea ice-cream ($6.00 each)

Black Sesame Pudding ($6.00)

I was greedy for dessert and between the boy and I we had three desserts!! The black sesame and green tea ice cream was deliciously creamy whilst the black sesame pudding had a strong authentic flavor however I’m not really one to appreciate real big chunks of black sesame bits in my pudding.

The wait-staff seem to be so busy but they are always very nice when you actually get their attention. And sure ,the place is a bit expensive but still worth a try – I know I’m definitely going back sometime soon ^___^. Hope you enjoyed my post!

Toraya Japanese Restaurant
Mandarin Center
61-65 Albert Avenue
Chatswood, 2067
T: (02) 9884 9620

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