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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

"This Board is Left Intentionally Blanc" - Sydney's Fix St James

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I am really long overdue in sharing my love of this place.  The brainchild of sommelier Stuart Knox (voted the Good Food Guide Sommelier of the Year, 2011) this wonderful wine bar and restaurant gives Sydney some long overdue wine bar clout that Melbourne has had a strong hold on for so long.

There are a few things I need to mention - I have been here several times now. Most recently I made a concerted effort not to enjoy so many wines as I had done on previous occasions just so I could share some of the magnificent dishes coming out of the kitchen!  Though previous visits did also involve some great dishes from the kitchen, I was often overwhelmed by the incredible selection of wines that I could enjoy so my documentation skills were somewhat challenged!

One must start with a lovely apertitif and if you are struggling to find something from their extensive wine list, there is always help from their friendly staff. The team are great, they listen to your preferences and easily find something to suit your palate. I love letting them choose something for me - it challenges my taste buds and it is always a great discovery. Tristan or 'oh bearded one' as I like to call him is a patient soul and endures my delight over what I am tasting in the glass (even when it borders on slightly obsessive!).  

Dinner service commences with freshly baked foccacia. We started with oysters au naturel along with a delicious calamari, egglplant and rich chilli oil dish. Washed down with a lovely pinot gris for me & a rose for Mr T, it was a great start.  Mains were a battle between us for the Lamb Ragu Orecchiette and the Pork Shoulder Parcel. Thankfully we are enthusiastic on 'communal dining' so neither would miss out on what the other was enjoying. The reassuring grunts I heard from across the table assured me the lamb was well received and the generous servings will satisfy the pickiest of appetites.  The pork was perfectly matched with a spicy Nero D'Avola from Brash Higgins ‘Amphora Project’, McLaren Vale.  I can see why the team has been sampling it "by the bucket load". I can't wait till I get to try it again! Dessert was a simple chocolate truffle along with a citrus tart. The latter was well matched with a late harvest semillon that helped developed the citrus notes that the tart was lacking. A perfectly cooked tart shell (that a certain Sydney bakery could learn from!) encased a light creme anglaise that was quite at home with refreshing orange slices.  A rowdy table next to us managed to overshadow our side order of broccolini and a soy mocha turned out to be a soy latte so the ambience can be at the behest of their guests! Made us chuckle at any rate and breath a sigh of relief as we're not quite sure how we could have fit in a side dish.

Whether you are enjoying a few nibbles with wine, a cheese platter or a meal are involved, Fix will have something to suit you. I highly recommend giving the "Quick Fix" dining option a go as well. You will be spoiled with a great selection chosen by the kitchen (just let them know your preferences, allergies etc). It is a great way to sample their seasonal dishes and gives you time to focus on your wine!

A few other reasons for loving this place:  

A great sense of style! Those would be Stuart's shoes...!

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And at least one of them supports my favourite rugby team!  And if you are in on a Friday night someone from the kitchen is also going to check on the rugby results too!

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111 Elizabeth Street  Sydney NSW 2000


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Posted via email from @RadhikaR's Internal Dialogue

The Grounds, An Oasis in Sydney's Alexandria

In just a short time, the latest additon to the stark industrial landscape that is Alexandria, The Grounds, has caught the attention of design-fanatic foodies and reviewers throughout Sydney. I couldn't resist a look-see myself, particularly as there was the promise of an exquisite roast to quench my persistent need for a decent coffee.

What I didn't expect (and likely should have realised) The Grounds actually as the name could suggest as well, has the most delectable outdoor area. In fact it is fair to say that while the interiors, food and coffee captivated others, they left only a passing impression. The gardens however, well that is another story entirely. On a glorious Sydney day, I can't think of a better place to lose oneself in!

The Grounds, Building 7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria NSW (02) 9699 2225, www.groundsroasters.com

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Posted via email from @RadhikaR's Internal Dialogue