Archive for August, 2011

Galileo Restaurant, Sydney

It certainly has been a while since my last visit to Galileo, probably pre-blog days. I was catching up with two food lovers, and S suggested this place. Galileo is located in the Observatory Hotel. Head chef is Masahiko Yomada, and offers diners a traditional French style with innovative international influences. The restaurant is grand, and service flawless.

The menu has more of an Italian-European to Fresh-Japanese. We started with complimentary Cheese puff – they were delightfully soft with a mild cheddar flavour.

The complimentary sour dough bread had a crusty exterior and fluffy, pillow-y centre. It was so hard to stop at just one.

We were all tossing between the degustation or a la-carte (3 courses for $60) available from Tuesday to Thursday only. We opted for a la-carte and started with the amuse bouche of truffle flan with cauliflower soup and burnt butter. Served warm, the cauliflower was quite distinctive, the truffle subtle and to top it off burnt butter which I love.

Both S and M couldn’t go past the Mirrin infused egg yolk with truffle polenta, serran ham and parmesan foam. It had too much foam for my liking, but the truffle polenta was deliciously truffle-y and the ham and parmesan a wonderful complement.

I opt for the roasted scallops, pea puree topped with asparagus which was lightly battered and deep-fried and then served with thin slices of ginger. The scallops were cooked to perfection, I love the sweet, creamy texture and the pea puree a was a perfect accompaniment and a great start.

For main, S ordered the barramundi meuniere with quinoa, Chinese cabbage in a bouillon. It certainly wasn’t what I expected. My photo is a tad blurry (BOO!) so the photo below is from S. It wasn’t a fillet of barramundi, but the fish was beautifully carved, it was extremely tender and flavoursome. One of the nicest fish I have tasted.

M and I couldn’t go past the braised pork belly, spiced honey, red cabbage and apple. As most of you know, I am a huge fan of pork belly, and the pork belly itself was cooked to perfection. Crispy skin, tender pork with the right about of fat, but the sauce… it was disappointing. I am not sure if it’s the spiced honey, but it certainly wasn’t French or Japanese influenced. Not what I expected. It was a cross between Indian curry and some sort of sweet, sticky Indonesian herb sauce and was a little sickly. It was certainly a let down. A different sauce would have definitely been better.

The kipfler potatoes, confit, sautéed with garlic were fantastic. Soft, tender and oh so addictive.

For dessert, I wanted something a little ‘healthier’ so opt for the twice cooked persimmon, vanilla bean, creme patisserie and vanilla ice cream. The persimmon was melt-in-your mouth tender and the ice cream excellent. Although, I could have definitely done with a bit more ice cream. The dessert was a little too sweet for my liking, couldn’t finish it and thankfully, S polished it off for me.

S had the tear drop mascarpone, dark chocolate ganache and peach oolong ice cream. Loved the dark chocolate ganache, it was the ‘right’ sweet for me. However, for S, it was too bitter and not enough sweet.

M had the mont blanc inspired chestnut cream, meringue and cognac ice cream. I loved the tear dropped meringue, the chestnut cream was deliciously creamy and smooth. I enjoyed this more than I thought and probably should have gotten this instead of the ‘healthier’ option.

We each ordered tea, and came with it, petite fours – didn’t eat everything as I was full, but I loved the rectangle caramel chocolate slice, and the biscotti. I think S and M had the rest – the jelly was incredibly sour I was told, the macaroons were a bit of a hit and miss and the white ball was sweet!

Service was excellent, food for me was a little disappointing, from memory, the first time was infinitely better. I think I was more ‘Wow’ed’ then than this time round. Nevertheless, it was definitely a wonderful evening with friends, and I look forward to our next adventure!

GA’s rating: 6.5 / 10

Galileo Restaurant

113 Kent Street

Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 2 9256 2222

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Pho Pasteur, Haymarket

Pho Pasteur on George Street has been around forever! I remember dashing here for a quick lunch before heading back to class during my university days or having a quick dinner before going home after work. It’s always packed, filled with office workers, uni students, families and tourists. The place hasn’t changed, still cramped, however, price has definitely increased. I can’t remember how much a bowl of pho used to be – $6? But one thing for sure is I doubt you can get a bowl of pho for that much now.

‘The Mother’ was craving pho after a night of boozing and dancing. We had originally planned to go to Flemington but I was too hungry and couldn’t wait, so suggested Pho Pasteur.

Menus are handed out, but also written on the wall. ‘The Mother’ knew exactly what he wanted, special beef rice noodle soup ($10) or number two on the menu. The ‘special’ generally involve tripe and tendons. ‘The Mother’ knows how much I love tripe and tendons and he doesn’t always eat it all, so no guessing who will!

Served with fresh bean sprouts, basil and lemon.

The noodle and broth I like – it had a lot of flavours. I usually like my broth with lots of chili for that extra kick, but unfortunately, ‘The Mother’ doesn’t like his soup spicy.

I had the usual, deep-fried chicken with rice ($9.50) – unfortunately it didn’t come with tomato fried rice which I love! The chicken was succulent and I love the thin crispy skin. However, my favourite would have to be Pho Toan Thang, in Flemington.

I couldn’t help but order a side of seafood spring rolls which came with lettuce and nuoc cham dipping sauce. I love rolling the spring roll in lettuce, why have I not done this at home? It makes it somewhat ‘healthier’.

Service minimal, it’s very efficient and quick, pho comes out in exactly four minutes – ‘The Mother’ made me time it! Very quick!

Not exactly my favourite Pho place, I still prefer Pho Toan Thang in Flemington. But good for a quick fix or craving. We were both just too hungry and potentially too drunk to drive, so walking was the better option.

Where is your favourite pho place? Always on the look out for good pho – in the city or not.

GA’s rating: 6.5 / 10

Pho Pasteur

709 George St


Ph: +61 2 9212 5622

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The Tilbury, Woolloomooloo

Another great post from my Uncle, he recently went to The Tilbury and enjoyed it. His photos are amazing as always!

I think I’m a late bloomer. I really didn’t discover food beyond my usual until the last two years. I’m one of those that sticks to the tried and tested… and also someone who values the limited space in my stomach. This is also why it annoys me when I come away from a meal feeling rather disappointed. Good news, folks! This post is all good. Oh wait, did I give that away too soon? hehe. I’ve been asking GA for tips on where to go for breakfast – perks of being friends with her. And so when I had the chance to spend the afternoon with Lala, Boo Radley and TT, I wanted to make sure that lunch was good! I missed out on their outing to Orto‘s last week (which Lala liked, a lot)…all I had was pictures of how pretty the scotch eggs was and how full they were. Argggghhh.

Anyways, fast forward to a week after their Orto’s outing (again, inspired by GA’s visit), I made a lunch booking for us at The Tilbury. TT had the day off and I took half a day of annual leave to run around to get some errands done.

The menu is simple and uncomplicated. It wasn’t hard for me to decide what I wanted. We had some sourdough and olive oil. Lala loves her bread… she did say that she prefers butter to oil with the bread. I agree. Iggy’s bread has made us ‘bread snobs’ too. Thankfully, the bread was crusty and full of flavour.

Lala went for the figs and prosciutto. Lala really enjoyed the fresh figs!

TT had the Alaskan crab with wet polenta. TT was initially sceptical of the ‘wet polenta’ but she finished it too!

And I ordered the confit of pork belly! Oh yes. A post on GA won’t be complete without some piggy. For the record, I usually order the worse of the lot. Not this time! All our entrees were delightful. My confit was perfect. The fat on the belly was nicely render. Melt in the mouth! The entrees did take some time to land, but it was worth the wait.

For mains, we had (1) barrumundi with scallops: fish was really well cooked and the scallops were nicely seared with red and yellow beets.

(2) saffron gnocchi (I just had to google the correct spelling for this): vibrant colours from the saffron and pillow-y soft gnocchi. Cooked to perfection and the way gnocchi should be (for me at least).

(3) Spaghetti with Alaskan King Crab: pedestrian perhaps to some…but it came with a generous amount of crab. The pasta was a tad undercooked. Flavours were faultless though.

And of course, no meal is complete without spuds. Fancy ones: rosemary and garlic kipfler (had to google this as well). Lala said “no” to fries and the potatoes. Good thing she did… cos it was a very sizeable amount even when shared amongst 3 of us.

Took quite a long time to get the mains. We were in a hurry and it was probably my fault for not telling the kitchen we needed to go at a certain time. But we also didn’t know service would be slightly slower than what we were used to. A table of four that arrived 10 minutes after us got their entrees at the same time as we did and got their mains 10 minutes before we did as well – this is inspite of my request for an expedited service of our mains.

All in all, a very good dining experience. Friendly, fresh and tasty (had to google this, having a shocker with spelling today) food, unrushed service (slightly slow to land our orders onto our table – but that’s forgiveable) and uncomplicated flavours!

Didn’t get a chance to sample the desserts, but hey, that’s reason to go back again. The only thing I’d change: is to make sure I have a clear schedule after lunch… for a nice afternoon nap.

Tilbury Hotel

18 Nicholson St

Woolloomooloo 2011

Ph: + 61 2 9368 1955

Tilbury Hotel on Urbanspoon

Booth St Bistro, Annandale

It has been a very long time since I had dinner at 127 Booth Street. From memory, ‘The Mother’ and I had our first date here but it wasn’t Booth St Bistro, but hree Clicks West. It’s been a few years now since we have lived in Annanadale, we have brunch often as most of our friends are still there, and when I heard about Booth St Bistro, I couldn’t wait to check it out.

Owned and managed by husband and wife team Wayne and Teresa Borgese-Coom. Wayne started his apprenticeship in New Zealand working at Cin Cin on Quay, GPK, Orbit Restaurant and Warakie Resort. In 2000, he relocated to Sydney and worked in Bayswater Brasserie, Level 41 and Specc in Clovely before he finally open his own restaurant.

I was catching up with two of my dearest and oldest high school friends, the doc and the accountant for brunch and I suggested this place. Booth St Bistro is open on weekend for brunch but open for dinner from Tuesday to Sunday from 6pm. The menu for dinner looks fantastic, Chef Wayne uses the freshest and finest Australian produce and menu is inspired by modern European cuisine.

Three hungry diners, we all had our own dish and the doc wanted to share the pancakes which we all couldn’t say no! Started with cappuccino – strong, aromatic and went down too quickly and nicely.

The accountant and I both opt for the cornfritters. A choice of bacon or avocado with poached egg, tomato capsicum chutney ($14.50). I didn’t want egg, so asked if I could have both bacon and avocado which was ‘sandwiched’ between two delicious think cornfritter topped with tomato capsicum chutney. DELISH!

The accountant had the bacon and egg, and the egg oozed with yolk and we can both safely say that it was fantastic and one of the nicest cornfritters I have had in a while.

The doct opted for eggs benedict ($14.50). Two oozy poached eggs which sat on a generous serving of house cured regal salmon, wilted spinach and toasted bread with generous hollandaise sauce. YUM!

For dessert, we shared the buttermilk pancakes with whipped honeycomb butter and strawberries. Three perfectly round pancakes, which were fluffy and airy and absolutely wonderful. The whipped honeycomb butter is to die for and a wonderful complement. I was stuffed, it was rich, filling and fringing awesome!

Deliciously full, we sat, chatted, and keen to try their dinner menu one evening. Everything on the menu just sounds fantastic – we will return!

Service friendly and welcoming, the place was busy when we arrived, but we didn’t have to wait long for a table. Can’t wait to go back.

GA’s rating: 8 / 10

Booth St Bistro

127 Booth Street

Annandale 2038

Ph: +61 2 9660 6652

Booth St Bistro on Urbanspoon

Lumiere Cafe and Pastisserie, Surry Hills

Lumiere Cafe has been around for as long as we have lived in Surry Hills. Located in the St Margarets complex which was developed in 2005. This cafe has an extremely super-casual vibe and the chef behind this super-casual cafe is Chef Buster Brown, English-born, French Rivera-trained.

The cafe is cozy and brightly lit. It’s hard not to drool over the scrumptious looking cakes and bread. The chai latte is one of the nicest I have had. Strong cinnamon flavour and thank goodness I got an ‘upgrade’ – I think a small would definitely would not have been enough!

I couldn’t go past the corn cakes with poached eggs, crispy bacon, avocado and homemade tomato relish ($19) – YUM! Sweet corn cake, a little more dense than a corn fritter, as it is made with cornmeal, flour and sweet kernels. It was filling and exactly what I needed that day. I love the crispy bacon, fresh avocado and topped with homemade tomato relish – delish! I really didn’t need the toast, as it was filling.

B couldn’t go past the muesli with yogurt, poached pear and poached rhubarb – hmhm love rhubarb! Let’s just say B did not share but I did manage to steal a couple of spoonfuls.

I love the glass window, the sun streaming in. The staffs are friendly and welcoming. They serve breakfast all day which I love!

As always it was lovely to catch up with you B.

GA’s rating: 7 / 10

Lumiere Cafe and Pastisserie

425 Bourke Street

Surry Hills 2010

Ph: +61 2 9331 6184

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