the hungry duck Sydney restaurants

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cru54 Kitchen & Bar, Spanish, Surry Hills

Cru54 Kitchen & Bar

54 Foveaux Street Surry Hills
02 9281 1054

Cru54 is a small funky tapas bar located a stones throw away from Central Station. Its just down the road from the Excelsior hotel so the area was buzzing with people. The food was quite good although personally I didn't think any of the dishes were outstanding. However this is a great place to share some food and sangria on a Friday night with friends. We ordered a number of tapas, mains and a salad to share.

Patatas bravas con aiolo (Potatoes with brava relish & aioli)

This was okay but fairly average. Actually I think the kitchen forgot the aioli..

Jamon Serrano, aged 22 months from Spain

Ever since the 'meat plank' from Jamie's I've been craving for some jamon or bresola. This had a deep flavour  and was delicious.

Warm Goat Cheese Salad with Orange & Asparagus

First of all, the goat cheese was incredible. Nutty, creamy and melt in your mouth. However the actual salad was so salty that even the orange failed to make an impact.

Paprika dusted crispy chicken wings with Tequila Salmorejo

Tequila and chicken?? Hell yeah! Unfortunately we couldn't taste (or feel the effects) of any tequila. Perhaps they forgot that as well? Haha. But actually this was a really tasty and probably one of my favourite dishes of the night.

Seafood Paella 

This was quite good, definitely recommended if you're dining at Cru54.

Pork Belly with marmalade braised red cabbage & aioli

This was the dish that we were all waiting for. Personally, I loved it. The crackling.. omgg.. delicious! But I think it depends on the piece of pork belly since the other people I dined with found this quite average. I liked it though :)

The bill came to $25 per head since we used a 25% off ent book voucher.

Cru54 Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sushi e, Japanese, Sydney


Level 4, Establishment
252 George St Sydney

9240 3000

"Imagine you’re in Tokyo dining at an enclave of modern Japanese expression. At the centre of a huge marble bar you watch head chef, Nobuyuki Ura, and his team serenely at work, precisely turning fresh fish into edible works of art. Welcome to sushi e."

Sushi e promises and delivers. From the moment we stepped into sushi e we knew that this was something special.

We started with a selection of three sashimi. The flavours were so delicate. I definitely recommend these, they were incredible.  Kingfish topped with slices of ginger, chives and sesame seeds, drizzled with garlic oil immersed in ponzu and seared with smoking hot olive oil. 

Snapper topped with sesame seeds, chives, lime juice sprinked with english sea salt and drizzled with white soy based dressing.

Spicy scallop flame seared under black mountain chilli and spicy mayo, baby leaf salad

If you dine at sushi-e you must order the sashimi. Everything is of the highest quality and oh so fresh. We ordered the scampi and salmon belly nigiri and requested them to be lightly seared. Best scampi sushi I have ever had in my life.

The Dragon Ash roll is very popular amongst diners and I noticed that several other tables had also ordered the same roll. This was seared salmon inside-out wrapped with prawn and mayo flame seared topped with fried onion and ponzu dressing. I also tasted some really fresh crisp pickled ginger.

We had the fried chicken kaarage and the prawn siu mai as sides. The prawn siumai was fresh and pipping hot and delicious. The kaarage crispy and succulent.

By this stage we were extremely full but the main act was still to come. For our main to share we had the balmain bug tempura which is bug tail tempura tossed in a rich spicy chilli dressing and chives and served with dressed salad greens. This dish actually really reminded me of tofu adegashi.. but instead balmain bug adegashi! I loved this, incredible flavours. A must order.

Overall- a great dining experience. If you want outstanding Japanese, this is the place. If you also want to impress someone this is also the place to take them.

The Good: Incredible food and attentive service. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

The Bad: Pricey but then again past diners include Kanye West, Jason Derulo and Leonardo Dicaprio.

Sushi E on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jamie's Italian

Jamie's Italian

107 Pitt Street
8240 9000

Lines often signify great things. The apple iPhone 4s. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Din Tai Fung. So if you see the line outside 107 Pitt St be aware that yes, it is the new Jamie Oliver restaurant. Yes its the first of Jamie's Italians in Australia. Yes there is a min 20 minute wait to get a buzzer. And yes its another hour wait after that buzzer to actually get a table. But dont worry, it serves some pretty good pasta and its served by some pretty good looking waiters.

We start off with the must order antipasti plank ($13 per head). When I say must order, every table orders this. And for good reason, its damn good.

We also share a Crispy Squid served with really garlicky mayo ($12). Crunchy goodness.

Our mains were the Bucatini Carbonara ($12), Truffle Risotto ($17) and a special of Pork chop served with Pumpkin ($26) (in order).

For desserts we had the Our Special Tiramisu ($9), the Creamy Panna Cotta ($8.50) and The Ultimate Brownie ($8.50)

The damage was $45 each which was actually quite good considering it was basically a three course meal and we ordered some sparkling water. I guess its also a bit of a novelty- I mean come on. It is Jamie Oliver. I liked it but wouldn't really say that its worth waiting an hour for.

The Good: Reasonably priced food, celebrity chef (ish), cute waiters and cool atmosphere

The Bad: Feel sorry for all the people who were still in line at 9pm waiting

Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon

eat drink blog conference

eat drink blog conference 2011

On the 5th of November 87 bloggers, including yours truly, attended the 2011 eat drink blog conference at the Electrolux showroom in Mascot. This was one hell of an event. One that went for 17 hours (yes basically 17 hours of eating and drinking) and three much needed coffees.

A big amazing shout out to the guys at Toby's Estate for serving some damned good coffee. If it wasn't for these guys the 87 bloggers may have all passed out from food coma before dinner like I almost did.

So what was the conference? It was basically a way for bloggers to get together and discuss issues like seo, writing and legal as well as a day of constant eating. When I say constant, I mean constant. To start, lets all say hello to the Delice Tower kindly donated by Lindt. This poor baby was nothing but an empty shell at the end of the day.

We also had the opportunity to take bread making classes by Brasserie Bread, singaporean crab classes by Kingsley's Crabhouse and believe it or not, a lamb butchery class run by the Meat and Livestock Association.

Lars Executive Chef of the Kingley's Group showing how to make the perfect singaporean chilli crab.

Souvlaki for the Soul also ran a Food Styling class which was hilarious and educational. Yes we all know what its like walking into Ikea with the intention of just buying a lamp but coming out with $500 worth of random shit. lol

We were then treated to an amazing three course meal at Kingsley's Steak and Crabhouse Woollomoolloo. The waterviews, the amazing atmosphere, the delicious food and the warm greeting from Lars made it a night to remember.

Throughout those seventeen hours I met a lot of people who were as diverse and different as can be. Some of them were full time mothers, some corporate high flyers and some who started blogging as uni students. Even the lawyer who gave us a talk on Copyright Law was an obsessed foodie! Also food blogging isn't about fine dining or showing off who ate at the most expensive restaurant. Its about a group of people who genuinely have a common passion coming together and sharing that passion. I hope you guys enjoy reading my posts but most importantly- please don't take it too seriously. At the end of the day we're just a bunch of ordinary people who really like our food.

Again, thank you to the organisers of the conference for inviting me and organising such an amazing day.

The Commons

The Commons Local Eating House

32 Burton Street

Darlinghurst NSW

9358 1487

The Commons is styled like a farmstyle eating house but with restaurant quality food. Its situated in Darlinghurst but also a short walk from Town Halll station.

On Sundays they have a reduced menu, but at amazing prices. Most of the entrees are $10-$15, all mains are $20 and the first glass of house wine is $5. An offer too good to resist.

Personally I was amazed by how good the food and service was. I'll definitely be coming back here and recommend all of you to give it a try :)

We ordered the sourdough toast w/anchovy butter ($7). I've never had toast with anchovy butter but this was really good. There was no fishy taste, it was more of a salty savoury taste. Definitely recommended.

We shared the stuffed zuchinni flowers ($14) which were amazing. Seriously so ordering these again.

I absolutely love gnocchi. If a restaurant serves gnocchi I'll often order it. This was by far the best gnocchi I've ever had. The mushrooms, the flavour.. delicious! The pasta was so rich and creamy. Actually I'm really glad we shared all the dishes as this was quite heavy and probably too much for one person. My favourite dish of the night :)

The rest of our mains were all amazing. We shared the Fillet Mignon, the Crumbed Latchet and the Slow Cooked BBQ Ribs and Chicken (As well as the gnocchi) between four and were absolutely stuffed.

To top it off we then had a huge chocolate cake called The Duchess from Christopher's cakes. Now this was no ordinary cake, this was a massive cake that would easily have fed a party of thirty.

We actually ended up sharing the cake with the waitresses/waiters/kitchen and also the table of 6 people next to us and still managed to take a quarter home (Yes. It was that big.).

An amazing night. Thank you to the Commons for their wonderful and warm hospitality. We will be seeing you more often :)

The Good: Warm service, casual atmosphere, delicious food, gnocchi!! and great value

The Bad: Nope. None whatsoever.

The Commons on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Victoria Room, High Tea, Sydney

The Victoria Room

Level 1, 235 Victoria Street

9357 4488

Last post for the month (I hope!). Its time to take a break from all this eating.

I really enjoy high tea. I think its a great way for girls (and boys) to get together, connect and chat over some nibbles, tea or wine. Its one of those things where its not about the food, its not about the tea or the wine- its about the chit-chat, the conversation and being able to enjoy each others company :)

And I mean, who can dislike high tea if its somewhere as nice as this?

We order the Crave Vintage High Tea Special ($45) which includes a three tiered high tea, loose leaf tea or coffee and a flute of Brown Brothers Champagne.

Sandwiches! I'd just come back from the gym so I demolished my share in like 10 minutes. They were not too bad. There were some chicken, smoked salmon and some cucumber sandwiches I think. To be honest I was too hungry to remember the names.

Sweets. This tier had lavender shortcakes, rose jelly, hummingbird cupcakes and these DELICIOUS fruit lemon custard tarts. I loved the lavender shortcakes and the tarts. The shortcake was really floral and each bite actually made me feel like I was standing in a lavender field.

Scones with fresh cream and jam. I think one was plain and one was sweetbread.

We were served by a really sweet waitress who actually wrote the words 'Thank You' on our bill. Quite liked the personal touch.

The Good: Beautiful surroundings, the atmosphere, the lavender shortbread & the fruit tart, good service

The Bad: I don't think this place has air conditioning (correct me if I'm wrong)

The Victoria Room on Urbanspoon