Thursday, 29 December 2011

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sweetness and Light :: Flour and Stone, Woolloomoolloo

Craving a coffee and something to quell the post-pool tummy rumbles I convinced Mr T we had to check out a recent addition to the cafe/bakery scene, Flour and Stone.  After a compelling write up by @aptronym on the Sydney Tarts site we were hopeful it would hit the spot.
That it did! Mr T who has been on a health kick of late has shunned all baked goods for nearly three months so I was surprised as he was captivated by the gorgeous delights in this lovely bakery. A chocolate brioche, fine apple tart and toasted sandwich made of brioche toast filled buffalo mozarella, ripe tomatoes and basil joined the Coffee Alchemy brew at our table.  Mr T doesn't eat cooked fruit of any description but as he happily tucked into the caramelly goodness of the fine apple tart I was left quite bemused. The flaky pastry base and whisper thin slice would be enticing for anyone!
Lining the display is an array of gorgeously decorated ginger bread cookies made famous by Cookie Couture's Nadine Ingram.  While only stopping for a short visit I grab a decadent looking block of white chocolate nougat to gift my afternoon tea hostess that afternoon. Can't wait to hear what she thought!  Flour and Stone have adopted the tagline "Baked for Love, Life & Happiness" and given the decadent treats on offer and their careful attention to detail they are living up to it. Passionate staff enthusiastically answer questions and share their love for what they do. Oh to bottle that energy!
There is no doubt that there is something for every sweet or savoury tooth to enjoy and I know that the tranquility we enjoyed on Saturday morning won't last long as this lovely spot grows in popularity!
53 Riley Street

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Sunday, 4 December 2011

A Cause for Celebration at Cotton Duck, Surry Hills

I took full advantage of marking my graduation day with the opportunity to have dinner at Cotton Duck where I had been keen to visit for a while particularly after exchanging much rugby world cup banter with their twitter account (any cause for kiwis to go nuts!). Chef Jared Ingersoll's comittment to ethical and sustainable produce has also been a drawcard.  It lived up to its promise and proved magic can be made close to home using the freshest ingredients.

Sitting at the edge of Surry Hills' bustling dining district, Cotton Duck is an urban oasis of calm. The industrial finish of concrete floors are softened by beautiful ply wood sculptured lighting and a growing feature wall.  It is unpretentious Sydney dining at its best. Lovely staff are attentive but quietly go about their business without interfering with your evening. With an open view to the kitchen you can watch the unfrenzied preparation of your meals. Even with the hard finished interior I was struck by how little noise was generated in the kitchen. Many suburban cafes could learn a thing or two on what a difference it makes to your dining experience. The "moustachioed" team in the kitchen were also clearly having fun this evening with their music selection and we enjoyed hearing a soulful blend from Fat Freddy's Drop to D'Angelo. We could have partied with these guys any day!

We grew mildly concerned when two dishes we were keen to get were not available that evening (we hadn't got to ordering mains yet!) but we needn't have been concerned. As each course came to our table we had moments of sheer magic as flavours burst in our mouth. There was a lot of sharing of dishes and "try this" happening at our table. It is also delightful that this is a venue that brings wonderfully bread rolls to your table, a chance to try a delicious taste plate (Crispy yam and the smokiest babaganoush and it was delicious) and close with a simple petit four of fresh cherries dipped in chocolate.  

Cotton Duck epitomises the theory of "surprising and delighting" its customers. Each dish had a "mouth popping" finish leaving us in little doubt we would be back again soon.

Cotton Duck
50 Holt Street
Surry Hills 

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* We were not guests of Cotton Duck and all meals were paid in full

Posted via email from @RadhikaR's Internal Dialogue

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Xanthi Westfield Sydney - A Culinary Adventure

I've been finally going through a few photos on my phone this evening and it suddenly dawned on me that I've taken so few photos of our recent foodgasms at Xanthi of Westfield Sydney!  

The largesse of this dominant chain of malls can be pretty off putting as far as food experiences go, however the latest addition to the group in the centre of Sydney City has proven to be worthy of attracting some of the city's finest culinary artists willing to associate their stable of restaurants with this enteprise. That can only mean great things for diners!

I had been meaning to go to David Tsirekas' "Perama" restaurant of Petersham for at least a couple of years and when I learned earlier this year that he was closing up shop after many years of trading in the inner west to take a spot in the new shopping district I was filled with trepidation! How could I miss out (love Greek food) and will a new venue detract from the delicious authenticity that Perama was so loved for? 

Well I needn't have worried at all - in its short life, my husband and I have already managed three visits, each as delicious as the first!  We're never short of excuses to suggest taking guests either. To prove how the excitingly tantalising the menu is - we're always far too busy eating to take too many "food porn" pics - so big apologies for that but well I do this for fun!

I can say categorically that the wonderful tasting plates of Apo tin plastira include a must-try pork baklava and the Kyria (mains) feature the delicious lamb skaras that will fulfil all desires for Greek-style lamb.  You will find among the few photos the exquisite caramel baklava ice cream which is in a non-word "ZOMG".  

Xanthi does a great job of making you feel the banquet option is an experience rather than a compromise so if you are venturing unchartered territory give it a go and don't forget to come back here and tell me what you thought! Or tell me I'm crackers!

Level 6, Westfield Sydney
Cnr Pitt Street Mall and Market Street


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Posted via email from @RadhikaR's Internal Dialogue