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Wilbur’s Place, Potts Point

I have wanted to try this place for a while now. The team behind Bourke Street Bakery has a new spin-off, Wilbur’s Place in Potts Point. It’s a small eatery, twenty or so seats, its friendly, and focuses on quality seasonal food. You can dine-in or take away and on this glorious Friday, we decided to dine-in. Unfortunately they don’t take reservations, so come before peak hour and you are bound to get a table.

I was catching up with the lovely D, Wilbur’s place is tucked away in the busy Llankelly place, where room 10 and LL wine and Dine are also situated. They serve all day breakfast, which is a bonus my stomach could not go past  past the suckling pig roll with pickles and dill mayo ($10).

OH MY GOD! Undoubtedly one of the best suckling pig roll I have had. The pork was incredibly tender, the pickles and dill mayo a perfect combination. My only gripe would be that there weren’t enough crackle but the pork…. OMG! It was so good that I don’t think I even stopped to put it down. I just ate and ate and ate! Sorry D! I was way too engrossed in my pork roll. Pity this is not walking distance as I would happily eat this every day!

D on the other hand, opt for the suckling pig plate with white beans and cabbage salad ($14) which was served with sourdough. The cabbage salad and beans looked lovely, the suckling pig also looked tender and delicious. D said it was pretty good for what it is. I think my suckling pig roll wins hands down! Oh my…

Dinner menu changes from time to time, the menu displayed on the website looks pretty good and I am definitely keen to try but how can I resist a suckling pork roll?

Didn’t have the coffee, but D said it was good. Can’t wait to start drinking coffee again.

I was tempted to have the toasted brioche ice cream sandwich with caramel but was in a suckling pig coma and could not fit anything else. In the meantime, if you are in the area, go grab yourself a suckling pig roll – you won’t be disappointed. Not open on Mondays but no doubt I will be back sometimes this week!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Wilbur’s Place

34 Llankelly Place

Potts Point, 2011

Ph: +61 2 9332 2999

Wilbur's Place on Urbanspoon

Dude Food Deg at Lotus, Potts Point

I can’t believe the month of October is almost over. I have been looking forward to going to Dan Hong’s ‘Dude Food Deg’ since I saw it on the Crave event. It was supposed to be a one-off event, five course degustation of junk food ($70 pp, extra $50pp for matching drinks), but it was sold out so quickly that they decided to add two more, which was also sold out! I have always enjoyed Dan’s inspiration so knew I was in for a treat.

We started with the cheeseburger ‘spring roll’ and empanada ‘doner kebab’. Oh my goodness, the spring roll really tasted like a McDonalds cheeseburger, including the pickle, mustard, tomato without the bun but the pastry. It was absolutely delicious and could have definitely eaten a dozen on my own.

Like the spring roll, the empanada did taste like a doner kebab. I remember many drinking nights ending with a doner kebab, but it wasn’t quite the same, it was missing some sort of sauce, chili and barbecue. It was good but my favourite would have to be the spring roll.

Next, Indomie with fried quail egg, deep fried essays and ‘pulled buffalo wing’ sauce. I grew up on Indomie, it’s a dish I know quite well and love. Definitely one of my favourite, it had lots of flavour, the buffalo wing sauce really gave it a nice kick, and the fried eschallots really gave it that extra crunch and flavour. (I did ask my fried egg to be cooked longer, other diners had their yolk oozy)

I really enjoyed the pepperoni pizza with napoletana consomme. It was definitely different. I love wontons, usually filled with pork mince and vegetables, but these ‘wontons’ were filled with cheesy pepperoni pizza. The consomme was very similar to the tomato base of a pizza, it was so delicate and tasty.

Tasting of hotdogs – corndog, chicago style hotdog, foie gras and truffle hotdog. Definitely a fun idea.

The corndog was lightly battered, it was simple but yet tasty. It had the right amount of batter to sausage, and topped with mustard and tomato sauce, it was delicious.

The chicago style hotdog of Frankfurt style sausage, tomato, pickle and mustard was simple and possibly my favourite out of the three. Could have easily polished another two or three.

The foie gras and truffle hotdog was probably the craziest, A generous chunk of foie gras and drizzled with truffle oil. I opt for no foie gras, I know, call me crazy but I just didn’t want it. There were mixed reactions, some loved it and some thought it was crazily sweet!

And if you thought the above was crazy, dessert was donut ice-cream with candied bacon, banana fritter, pretzel praline, peanut butter and raspberry jam. Three words – OH MY GOD! Candied bacon! A guy from another restaurant, who happened to be sitting near me was in awe about this candied bacon. He couldn’t believe it was on the plate, I did offer him some but he politely declined!

The banana fritter was wrapped in kunefe, it was incredibly light and possibly my favourite. The donut ice cream, rich and delightful and eaten with the candied bacon, pretzel praline and peanut butter was just calorific but excellent. I thought my heart stopped for a mini heart attack! I have to admit though, I couldn’t finish the dessert, I was full and it was a tad rich but fantastic!

It was definitely a fun event! I can’t remember the last time I ate so much junk food in one sitting! Dan said that this was ‘probably my last dude food deg forever’. NOOOOOOO!!!!! I was looking forward to more dude food deg in the future! Service at Lotus was fantastic as always! I have enjoyed dining at Lotus, and no doubt will be back for their awesome cheeseburger!

Lotus

22 Challis Avenue

Potts Point 2011

Ph: +61 2 9326 9000

Lotus on Urbanspoon

Room 10, Potts Point

Voted as Sydney’s best new café by the SMH Good Café Guide in 2011. This little hole in the wall serves up one of the nicest (and potentially best) coffee in Potts Point and delicious breakfast consisting of open sandwiches, cakes and other brunch-type selections.

The café is tiny, seriously tiny! The kitchen is actually a dedicated area of bench space on the right, and no big tables in sight, stools double as tables. The coffee here is amazingly good, Room 10 uses Mecca coffee and the man behind the menu is Daniel Jackson who previously worked at Clover and Clipper café.

I came here with my lady of leisure friend B, we haven’t seen each other for such a long time that we had A LOT to catch up on! She started with skim flat white – loved it!

I wanted to try their chai latte, served in a tea-pot, it was absolutely delicious.

I couldn’t go past the burnt fig, cinnamon and almond granola served with stewed rhubarb, fresh banana, yogurt and honey ($9) with a bit of milk. It had me at fig and rhubarb that I didn’t even look at anything else on the menu! Served with milk, the granola was crunchy and wonderful. I have taken a liking to cinnamon, the smell especially and it was distinctively fragrant!

The stewed rhubarb and yogurt was a wonderful complement. One bowl was not enough, I wanted more!

B had the bircher, which was served with banana, stewed rhubarb, topped with pistachio and honey ($9). This was just as good! I loved the crunchiness of the pistachio, the moistness of the bircher, it’s no secret that we are both bircher fans!

We saw other diners have the sandwich and it looked wonderful – slow cooked salt beef sarnie with fresh cabbage slaw rocket and mustard ($10) and poached lemon chicken sarnie with toasted almonds, celery, dill, avocado and rocket ($11) – YUM! Will definitely be back for the sarnie and of course the coffee!

Simple name, simple signage – tiny ceramic number 10. I can imagine this place being super busy on the weekends, but you can always takeaway. Coffee is excellent – well worth the trek, even went back for a second cup of coffee! I can see why this was voted as the best new café and as they say – simple things are done exceptionally well!

Thanks again B, and I look forward to our brunch catchup again!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Room 10

10 Llankelly Place

Potts Point 2011

Room 10 on Urbanspoon

Ms G’s, Potts Point

AGAIN you say? Yes…. again! Do you have a favourite restaurant that you tend to go back over and over? A favourite Thai restaurant? or Japanese restaurant? Last year Café Ish, Bodega, Lotus (heard they have a new menu so stay tuned!), Porteno were my favourites (and still is of course!). I couldn’t help but go back and try everything on the menu! This year, I believe it is Ms G’s. There was a time when we (you know who you are!) went every single Sunday for lunch or every second Friday for dinner. It has been a good four months since my last confession, I mean visit and in the past six weeks has gone back three times! yikes! Obsessed much? I wasn’t going to blog about it but there are a couple of new items on the menu since my last visit and items that I haven’t tried that I thought is worth mentioning. Of course, there are also items that’s a must order, like the pork belly banh mi, fried chicken and the steamed fish with white soy. The dish below has just been added to that ‘must order’ list!

Ms G’s requires no introduction, and I am sure after seeing Dan Hong on Masterchef a couple of weeks ago, fellow Masterchef supporters is dying to try his coconut pandan chiffon cake. Sadly though, it has taken me a good six months to try this magnificient dessert. Better late than never right?

I love fresh oysters! The Sydney rock oysters with lemongrass vinaigrette ($4 each) was excellent. The oysters were creamy, plump and the lemongrass vinaigrette a wonderful complement.

The Banh Mi is a must order! Everytime I come here, I always get the pork belly as it is banh mi at its best. Crispy pork belly on a soft bun, one is never enough! Have yet to try the chicken – but how can I say no to pork belly?

The Vietnamese salad of SA octopus, cassava crackers ($16) was lovely. Grilled octopus which was tender and I loved the Vietnamese salad and dressing that came with it.

Sea scallop, jicama, guacamole, finger lime ($16). Such a wonderful dish – fresh scallops, which was deliciously plump and moreish topped with fresh vegetables, tapioca and roe.

Jicama is a crispy and sweet edible root similar to turnip, it has a unique flavour on its own but works well with salads and salsas. It has a sweet flavour and this dish was slightly sweet with a nice limey flavour through it.

Ocean trout ceviche ‘fiji style’ ($16) – double-y WOW! This would be my favourite dish thus far at Ms G’s! Fresh ocean trout pieces, with tomatoes, cucumber and seaweed topped with tapioca and the broth, I can’t begin to explain how wonderful the broth is. It’s slightly sweet, slightly spicy, slighty crunchy from the ‘rice bubbles’ and oh my lord – mouth watering!

Whilst we were waiting for our meal to arrive, the waitress brought another serving of this. Stupid me said ‘we’ve had this’ – WHAT WAS I THINKING? We should have probably said ‘thank you’ and had another serving. It was good and one of Dan’s best I would say.

Jow’s sweet and sour lamb ribs ($23). I love anything sweet and sour, especially sweet and sour pork. The ribs were a little on the thin side I thought, I had the smallest rib possible – the lamb was incredibly tender that it easily ripped off the bone, and the sauce – divine. I didn’t bother using my knife and fork – hands – carnivore style – it was sticky and finger licking good!

Egg noodles with XO sauce, braised duck, soft poached egg ($18) – you can’t really see the poached egg from this angle but it oozed with yolk. I love the tenderness of the braised duck, the egg noodles cooked to perfection and the xo sauce – well I love xo sauce! Compared to the other dishes, I thought this was a little ‘plain’ but still wonderful.

Fried baby chicken, kimchi mayonnaise is another must! (half $15 and whole $25). Who doesn’t like fried chicken? They have one of the crunchiest batter, and the chicken is magnificently tender and cooked to PERFECTION every single time. It definitely beats the chicken wings at Mc Donalds – no comparison really! What was I thinking? I LOVE the kimchi mayonnaise – many of my friends don’t like kimchi – so more for me I guess!

Another favourite of mine is cobia fillet steamed with white soy and ginger salad of fennel, radish and herbs ($29). Originally it was cooked with Mulloway fillet, however the cobia fillet is just as good. It is a firmer fish than then mulloway but it is the broth that takes my breath away. I came here with the teacher, W, and we were seriously unimpressed when the waitress took the plate away. We both wanted to pick up the plate and ‘drink’ the soup! classy i know.

I came back a couple of weeks later with an ex colleague and his brother. We had everything mentioned above, plus more! One being Braised Wagyu beef shin “Hue Style”, konnyaku noodles, lemongrass, chilli broth $25. The braised wagyu was incredibly tender that it just melted in our mouths! The lemongrass and chili broth outstanding. The konnyaku noodles was nice but probably could do without. More Wagyu would have been lovely. I think previously it was served with pork belly, the braised wagyu is infintely better! (and that’s saying something as I love pork belly!)

The QLD spanner crab, broccolini, silken tofu, shellfish dashi ($24) reminded me of the crab dish at lotus. The crab were delicate and moreish, the silken tofu light and excellent. The broth fantastic, but the crab dish at lotus is definitely the best out of the two.

Dessert – the stoner delight I have had many times now. They have changed the flavours of the ice cream slightly – it was banana when it first opened, I can’t remember what the flavour was last time, think it might have been passionfruit. A friend said that the mandarin granite, lime mousse, Calpis yoghurt sorbet was excellent – W and I were originally going to order the lime mousse, however, the ‘ice cream sandwich’ vanilla ice cream and chocolate brownie with blueberry ($12) that won our hearts.

OMG – just three words – OH MY GOD! It was a huge serving – we wondered whether or not this was for one or two – for one apparently! Generous servings of vanilla ice cream and thick chocolate mousse – it was rich – sickly rich but beautiful! Drizzled with blueberry compote and ‘sandwiched’ between two thin layers of chocolate brownie which were soft but yet firm. UTTERLY AMAZEBALLZ!

So finally, I had the Pandan chiffon cake, strawberries, coconut sorbet $12. WOW! Served with tapioca balls, sago and coconut sorbet – my goodness! Totally and utterly amazing. Can’t believe that I have not ordered this until now.

The cake is deliciously airy and light with pandan flavour. The tapioca warm and diced strawberries were a wonderful complement. The coconut sorbet flavour was subtle and eaten all together, the flavours burst in your mouth and were magnifique and even D who didn’t want dessert that evening wanted to lick the plate clean! EPIC!

I do have a confession, I am obsessed, I really do like this place and will be returnning again next week with the uni bunch! I am looking forward to it already! Promise I won’t post anymore until they have a new menu but you can check out the photos here.

Unfortunately they don’t take reservations, and all parties have to be present before you are seated! However, you can wait at the bar upstairs, listen to the uber cool music and have a drink whilst you wait.

GA’s ratings: 8.5 / 10

Ms G’s

155 Victoria Street

Potts Point, 2011

Ph: +61 2 9240 3000

Ms G's on Urbanspoon

[TOYS] Collective #5: Ballz Deep at Ms G, Potts Point

I have wanted to go to [TOYS] collective event for a while now. I missed their previous events for various reasons, but I was determined to go to the next one. It was held at Ms G’s, the theme was ‘Ballz Deep’ which as Dan described ‘something the chefs can all relate too’. It’s a degustation showcasing the talents of four of the upcoming hot young chefs in Sydney. It costs $120 per head which includes matching alcohol with each course.

I went with the gym enthusiast, S. My dear friend, M was also there with her friends. Unfortunately we didn’t get to sit together. Once seated, we were presented with a cocktail each, created by Charlie Anisbury – he made 100 individual cocktails – I don’t think I even know 100 cocktails! Mine was the ‘Harvey Wallbanger’ – vodka, orange juice galliano and it was refreshingly delicious and light that it went down quickly and nicely.

S on the other hand had ‘Planter’s Punch’ – dark rum, lemon, sugar, angostura bitters. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one unfortunately, only because I don’t like rum!

We started with four different canapes, the first being deep-fried prawn balls, yuzu mayo by Dan Hong himself. This was absolutely delicious – pop in your mouth size, the prawn balls were crunchy on the outside and soft moist on the inside and the yuzu mayo was deliciously creamy and wonderful. I could have easily eaten half a dozen of this.

Next, banh mi of tete de porc, kim chi by Jowett Yu. Similar to the banh mi at Ms G, this was probably my favourite amongst the canapes. Served on a soft fluffy bun, the pork was crunchy and moist and the kimchi was subtle but wonderful. It was scrumptiously good!

Lamb’s balls, shiso pistou by Thomas Lim was nice but probably my least favourite. It was bite size thankfully, and I popped it in my mouth. I didn’t realise at the time, but upon biting, the lamb-y flavour burst into my mouth. It didn’t last long, as it was tiny but the shio pistou was a wonderful complement.

Lastly, steamed pork bun, miso, apple by Nic Wong reminded me so much of the Chinese dish that I love – pork with man tao. Tender, succulent shredded pork served with ‘soft bun, the apple inside was a nice crunchy surprise’. It was magnificient. Each bite was better than the next and the next thing I knew, I was eye-ing S’s pork bun!

Now the shared mains, first course was by Dan Hong entitled deep sea balls – sashimi salad of scallop, fish, tapioca, trout roe, crispy rice and finger lime matched with bishonen junmai ginjo shu sake. This was the dish of the night for me. Fresh sashimi, octobus, scallop, fish with different types of ‘balls’ – ocean trout, tapioca, and crispy rice. I love the subtle spiciness and the crunchy crispy rice balls and as M said ‘such perfect combination of flavours and textures. AMAZEBALLS’.

Jowett Yu combination balls soup – ‘balls’ of scallop, prawn, fish, pork broth served with ramen was probably my least favourite. The flavours didn’t work at all and the ‘balls’ were nice and moist but it really didn’t appeal to me. It was served with 2008 Dveri Pax ‘sivi pinot’ which I didn’t have as I am alergic to white wine (yes weird I know!).

110% Woman by Thomas Lim – chicken breast, oyster and seaweed. The inspiration came from his girlfriend. I know a couple of people didn’t enjoy this dish, they thought the chicken was tasteless and undercooked. The people around M’s table had to use Sriracha sauce to give it some taste. She could see what he was trying to do but it just didn’t work. I thought the chicken was soft and succulent, I enjoyed it and I love the combination of the red cabbage, mushroom and white fungus. Served with 2010 Foster e Roco Sangiovese Rose, Heath cote – Victoria – not my favourite but it did complement the dish.

Lastly, beam’n bone by Nic Wong – smoked pork ribs, chili, bourbon, pickled green tomato. The ribs were tender and had a strong smokey flavour which I loved. I noticed no one used cutlery – they were ‘seriously yummy and the smokiness and stickiness worked perfectly with the watermelon balls’. Two small ribs were defintiely not enough! I wanted more but was getting full by this stage.

The salad I loved. Pickled green tomatoes which was wonderful along with sweet ‘ball’ size watermelon. It was served with macs ‘Sassy Red’ Bitter, Nelson New Zealand.

Before our desserts came, we were presented with iced coffee. Even the iced coffee had a ‘ballz’ theme – PEARLS!!!! It was ridicolously sweet – so sweet that I had to pour water in it and even then it was still too sweet! The pearls were a nice surprise though – bit chewy and hard but a pleasant surprise.

To end, Great balls of fire (and ice) by Bernard Chu and Yen Yee – fried chestnut ice cream, salted egg yolk, liquorice and sour plum was one of the nicest deep fried ice cream I have had. I love good fried ice cream and this exceeded expectation.

The thin crunchy exterior oozed with ice cream and in the middle, a wonderful delight – salted egg yolk and WOW! EPIC! I loved it! I think this was a winner and the perfect way to end the delicious meal.

I am not sure if I liked the liquorice though, it reminded me too much of pi pa gao(Chinese cough medicine)! It seemed as though they have just poured it into a bowl – I was definitely not a fan! But the sour plum was incredibly sour and absolutely wonderful. M on the other hand though LOVED the liquoirce but then again, she loves the cough medicine!

Overall, it was a fun evening, S and I sat together but M who sat on the communial table got to meet new people. It was fun talking to the chefs and meeting their girlfriends, wives and others invovled in [TOYS] collective.

M thought it was a bit weird that they didn’t or couldn’t do anything about her prawn allergy – even if its an extra serving of something else to make for it, given it’s a set menu. She couldn’t eat any of the deep fried prawn ball – which was a shame, and the combination balls soup but don’t think she was missing out there.

I found out later on that each course had its respective music selected by the chef. I did enjoy the music – lots of different types of genre, some I even swayed and dance too!

Overall, it was a wonderful evening, though the delay between the dishes was a tad long. Especailly between the canapes and the shared main. It was still a fun night though and looks forward to the next one. Thanks to the chef and to Mel for a wonderful evening!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

[TOYS] Collective

Ms G’s

155 Victoria Street,

Potts Point, Sydney NSW