Tag Archives: Birthday

JACKPOT celebrates Miss Puff’s 30th at Graze

Hello dear readers!

Hope you all are having a good week so far despite the gloomy weather today!

Just to recap my weekend, Mr Muscles and I were invited to celebrate Miss Puff’s (formerly Miss Pen) 30th birthday at Graze in Pyrmont. I was really excited about this dinner because I hadn’t eaten here before and was really keen to try out all the various dishes on offer which I had read on various blogs. We had told Miss Puff that this restaurant might be a nice place to celebrate her birthday with her friends and so we were happy when she decided to have her dinner there.

The restaurant had given Miss Puff the top floor of the restaurant so that we basically had the top floor to ourselves with a large table in the middle of the room. It was a really nice setup and it was even better as it made the dinner feel a lot more private and intimate. Miss Puff and Mr Kecap Manis Boy chose dishes from the menu before the dinner for everyone to share. They ordered a few entrees, mains and 2 desserts for everyone to share. I was so blown away at how good the food was so much so that I really want to go back again and try the other dishes on the menu. I really enjoyed all the dishes that they chose and usually that doesn’t happen often when I go to a restaurant.

It was great catching up with Miss Puff (who looked lovely on the night by the way) and everyone seemed to really enjoy the night catching up with each other and of course enjoying the food together. Thanks again Miss Puff for inviting us and to Mr Kecap Manis Boy as well for organising the whole night. It was a lot of fun and we can’t wait to catch up again soon!

Setting

Setting 2

Street View

The Food:

Cauliflower Milkshake

Cauliflower Milkshake, Jamon & Cheese Toasty

I have to agree with all the other bloggers and say that this was such an amazing dish! It was rich and decadent yet so moreish that it made you want to keep drinking that cauliflower milkshake (similar to a creamy cauliflower soup) and that toasty was amazing where most of us decided to keep dunking it into the cauliflower milkshake to add more flavour. This was definitely one of the highlights of the night and I could tell that most people were thinking the same because the dishes soon disappeared in a matter of minutes.

Croquettes

Blue swimmer crab croquettes with chilli jam

We were all confused as to what this dish was. I asked people around me and we finally found out that the filling was crab. Besides the confusion at the beginning, once we bit into the croquettes everyone thought it was a really lovely dish. It was nice and crumbly on the exterior of the croquettes and creamy and soft on the inside. Once again, this was another enjoyable dish and I didn’t mind it being deep-fried as it wasn’t overly oily.

Ocean Trout

Wood fired Tasmanian Salmon served with cucumber and lemon myrtle creme fraiche

This was another really stand out dish. Mr Muscles and I both agreed that this was another favourite dish of the night for us. The salmon was served on a black wooden board and I loved the charring on salmon. The salmon had been wonderfully cooked and was quite tender and pink still once you cut into it. It just melted in your mouth with each bite and it left me wanting to eat more. I would definitely order this again next time I come here. Ms S next to me really loved the creme fraiche and thought it paired really well with the fish.

Risotto

Wild Mushroom Risotto with herb chantilly

The Mushroom Risotto was another great dish…rich and decadent but really flavoursome too. It was good we got to share a lot of these dishes as I think that a whole portion would have been too filling so I was happy I got to try a bit of everything and  small serving each time meant there was still room for dessert ;P

Chicken

Local flathead fillets, pan fried with serrano jamon, roasted carrot puree, beans and parsley oil

This was a really well executed dish and I loved the saltiness from the jamon which didn’t overpower the flathead fillets but complimented it really well. The roasted carrot puree was really addictive that I went back for seconds of just the carrots.

Beef

Slow Cooked Wagyu Beef Shin served with a Black Pepper Jus

The slow cooked beef shin was another stand out dish of the night. The beef shin was unbelievably tender and just melted in your mouth with every bite. Each bite was so rich that you could really taste each tender piece and the bits of fat laced within the beef. Obviously not so good for the diet but definitely something to eat for a cheat meal ;P Mr Muscles really enjoyed this dish and thought it was a highlight from the dinner.

Innards

A shot of the innards…look at how tender the beef is!

Pork Belly

Confit of Pork Belly, Almond, Broccollini, Ginger, Orange and Prawn Foam

I didn’t try this dish as I am not a fan of pork belly but the lovers of pork belly on the table seemed to really enjoy the dish.

Truffled Potatoes

Crispy Truffled Potatoes with Parmesan

A dinner isn’t a dinner without some fried potato goodness well more in the case of Mr Muscles who cannot go a week without indulging in some fried potato of some sort whether it be hot chips, wedges or hash browns so you can imagine the look on Mr Muscles face when he saw this dish come out. Suddenly it was as if he had built a second stomach and was eyeing down the potatoes eagerly awaiting his turn to try the truffled potatoes. I assumed they were good as he went back for seconds and thirds ;P

Eton Mess

Eton Mess, Strawberries, Meringue and Double Cream

Although I’m not a fan of cream I didn’t mind this. Usually the Eton Messes I have tried are full of too much cream or way too much meringue but I thought Graze did this dessert really well with a good balance of meringue, cream and strawberries. I didn’t want to fill up on this as I knew there was a second dessert to try and also the birthday cake.

Chocolate Parfait

Iced Chocolate Parfait, Orange Foam and Mint Oil

I really liked this dessert as it wasn’t too heavy. The chocolate parfait paired well together with the oranges and the mint oil. This was a really nice dessert and all the flavours seemed to work well together.

But none of these desserts compared to the actual birthday cake for Miss Puff which was the infamous Gelato Messina’s “Dr Evil’s Magic Mushroom” Cake consisting of dark chocolate gelato, peanut cookies and dulce de leche topped with layers of vanilla cream, chocolate sponge,  a red ganache and white chocolate buttons to finish. The stalk itself is filled with dulce de leche caramel surrounded by dark chocolate gelato. The mushroom then sits on grass made out of popping candy and crushed biscuit…basically a very rich and decadent birthday cake that tasted soooo amazing! Although it was so rich, I found myself wanting more. And the popping candy as the grass was really cleverly done and tasted really nice once we were able to break it apart. It was a great way to end the night with such a delicious cake!

Messina Cake

I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating with your friends Miss Puff! We had a wonderful time celebrating with you and we hope that your birthday was a really memorable one this year! Best wishes xx

Graze

182 Harris Street

Pyrmont NSW 2009

Ph: (02) 9518 5025

Opening Hours: Wed-Sun 5pm-10pm and Fri for Lunch 12pm – 3pm

Website: http://grazepyrmont.com.au/

Until next time everyone!

x

Jackie

1 Comment

Filed under Birthday, Cake, Dinner, Restaurant, Sydney, Western

JACKPOT visits Cafe Morso (2nd Visit)

Happy Monday everyone!

I’m feeling a bit of the Monday-itis today after what seemed like a really short weekend! Another working week ahead but I hope you all got to relax and enjoy the weekend despite the ever cold weather and the constant rain which did not seem to disappear over the weekend. I had a good weekend catching up on many missed tv shows over the week, celebrating a 2nd birthday for a friend’s child and playing a bit of basketball to get the heart rate pumping…and of course indulging in some good food along with good company as always!

I was very eager to visit Orto in Surry Hills on Saturday morning but come saturday morning I found myself to be still asleep in bed in the late morning so therefore I decided to change my plans around but I definitely intend to visit Orto this weekend if I have the chance. Mr Muscles and I decided to visit Cafe Morso instead for a late brunch to catch up with dear ol’ dad. Dad had been raving on about how good the orange pancakes were at Cafe Morso and because Miss L had told me the same thing previously, I knew I had to order these.

Unfortunately the weather was miserable on Saturday morning and we found ourselves sitting outside the cafe as most the inside tables were taken. I think we all did not expect the weather to be so cold so I knew some warm food would be the solution to our problem.

Latte

Mr Muscles Coffee $4.00

Green Tea

My usual drink of choice: Green Tea $4.00

Scrambled Eggs with Baked Beans

Sauteed wild mushrooms with truffled scrambled eggs and Sonoma Sourdough Toast with a side of baked beans with onion jam and relish $19.00

Mr Muscles thoroughly enjoyed his meal. It’s quite a dense and rich dish with the creamy eggs and the truffle oil drizzled all over the eggs. His only gripe was that he had imagined house made baked beans instead of the tinned variety which he received but nonetheless he still really enjoyed the dish.

Dad decided to order the same dish sans baked beans and he was very happy with his choice. I could tell they both were happy with their meal choices as they both demolished it leaving barely any crumbs on the plate. I think we were all feeling quite full after we left the cafe.

Scrambled Eggs

Dad’s choice: Sautéed wild mushrooms with truffled scrambled eggs and Sonoma sourdough $16.50

And finally……

ORANGE PANCAKES! ;P

Orange Pancakes

 Orange pancakes with yoghurt, mixed berry compote and maple syrup $15.00

I loved the orange pancakes!!! As soon as I dug into them I was amazed at how soft and fluffy they were compared to a lot of other pancakes I have eaten for breakfast before which are usually quite on the dense side. Although the pancakes were deliciously light and fluffy I was quite full after the meal. The yoghurt, berry compote and maple syrup in the glass cup paired really well with the pancakes. I ended up eating most of the pancakes without the side accompaniments as it was so light and so airy that it didn’t really need the side toppings. I am definitely coming back to order this dish again! Next thing I knew…I had gobbled up all the pancakes in a matter of minutes…yes it was that good ;P

For more dishes that you can order at Cafe Morso, you can read my previous post on my first visit there (http://jackpoteats.com/2012/10/10/jackpot-eats-at-cafe-morso-pyrmont/)

I thought I’d also post a few food pictures from the 2nd birthday party I attended. It was such a great party with kids running around playing with toys and getting very excited over the pinata full of lollies.

Car cake

The awesome “Cars” Cake that was made especially for the birthday boy – I think it was chocolate mud cake inside and by the time they had cut the cake I was too full to eat it though it looked really delicious!

Cupcakes

The cupcakes that went along with the cake in the theme of “Cars”

Stay tuned for more cafe reviews and hopefully a few new recipe trials.

I intend to experiment over this week making healthy valentine’s desserts. Hope Mr Muscles doesn’t mind trying out all my valentine’s day baking experiments in the meantime ;P

Aren’t these love candies cute!

love candies

Cafe Morso

http://www.cafemorso.com.au

Ph: +61 2 9692 0111

Lower Deck (west side), Jones Bay Wharf,

Pirrama Road, Pyrmont NSW 2009

Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm

Sat-Sun: 8am-2pm/drinks and coffee until 3pm

Until Next Time

x

Jackie

2 Comments

Filed under Birthday, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Cake, Eggs, Pancakes, Restaurant, Sydney, Toast, Western

JACKPOT eats lunch at: Gowings Bar and Grill

Hello Readers!

I found myself back at Gowings Bar and Grill yesterday for lunch to celebrate Mr FOB’s birthday. I had never tried lunch or dinner here so I was keen to see what the food was like and whether the standard was as good as the breakfast was the last time I visited this restaurant. I was not disappointed and everyone seemed to enjoy their meals. The food was beautifully presented and each plate that came out was full of flavour and each ingredient in each dish complemented each other well. There were light options if you weren’t feeling too hungry where you could opt for an entrée size salad or main size salad or if you were feeling a bit more peckish you could order various meats and seafood from chicken to steak to fish. And if you still have some room, there is always dessert and it’s always hard to say no to dessert especially with the various options available such as Profiteroles, Creme Brulee, Hot German Doughnuts, Cheesecake and plenty more.

So onto the food…

Bread Roll Pepe Saya

My brown bread roll accompanied with Pepe Saya Butter – was very crunchy and a little hard on the teeth but I still enjoyed eating it regardless of this factor

Spanner Crab Cakes

Hot Spanner Crab Cakes with a salad of Hearts of Palms, Aioli & Hot Sauce $19.00

Ms Pen & I were hinting in a not so subtle way for someone to order this starter so we could have a little taste to see what it was like. I really liked this dish as it reminded me of flavours and spices from my childhood growing up. When you broke the crab cake apart you could see all the crab meat inside along with other various seasoning and spices. Although it was fried, the filling was quite light and the salad accompanying the crab cakes gave a nice contrast in flavours and in textures. Definitely something you must order when you visit Gowings.

Innards

A shot of the innards of the crab cake…look at all that crab meat…

Clams, Mussels, Vongole, Periwinkles

Raw Live Clams/Mussels/Vongole/Steamed Periwinkles served with a light dressing of Parsley, Coriander Stalks, Rice Wine Vinegar & Lemon $32.00

The birthday boy ordered the above starter to share with everyone. Although I didn’t have any of this I could hear that everyone at the table enjoyed this thoroughly. I liked that the seafood served was fresh and served with light dressing and simple herbs and seasoning to accompany it.

Mahi Mahi

Mr M’s meal – Mahi Mahi cooked pink and rubbed with Fennel, Coriander Seeds & Rosemary served with a Chopped Salad of Grape Tomatoes, Fennel Confit, Young Coriander MP $34/$44

Mr M told me that he really enjoyed his fish. I loved the use of bright ingredients and fresh vegetables to accompany the grilled fish. It was really well presented and looked like it had been cooked nicely with a bit of char from the grilling. It’s nice to see that even something so simple as a fish can be presented so beautifully on a plate.

Duck

Mr Kecap Maniis Boy’s meal – 1/2 Crisp Spiced Duck served with Paris Mash Potatoes, Steamed Warrigal Greens & Salt Bush $44.00

Chicken

Mr Muscles meal: 1/2 Organic Herbed Chicken served with Paris Mash Potatoes, Steamed Warrigal Greens & Salt Bush $33.00

Mr Kecap Maniis Boy and Mr Muscles both enjoyed their meals served from the wood rotisserie. They both decided to get something different even though they were served with the same sides to see the difference. Both of them finished their plates shortly after it was placed in front of them. Always a sign that it was a good meal.

Rock Flathead

Mr FOB’s meal – Whole Line Caught Rock Flathead served with Lemon and a Caper Butter Sauce $37.00

Mr FOB enjoyed his meal thoroughly however his only gripe was that since it was a whole fish he had to spend time picking out all the bones from the fish.

Chicken Salad

Ms Pen’s meal – White Cooked, Chilled Organic Chicken Salad served with Quail Eggs, Steamed Kipfler Potatoes, Asparagus, Chervil, Baby Cos & a Black Truffle Dill Mayonnaise $28.00

Ms Pen and I were feeling like something a bit lighter especially as the weather was quite hot yesterday so we both opted for salads. Ms Pen opted for the chicken salad and she really enjoyed her meal. The truffle mayonnaise was served separately to the salad so that you could dress your salad with however much sauce you wanted either with only a little of the mayonnaise or poured over the salad quite sparingly. The boys at the table were all eyeing her salad as it contained mini quail eggs. The salad looked light and fresh with simple ingredients. Ms Pen offered me a bit of her salad and indeed it was very light and refreshing with the flavours all complementing each other.

Crab Salad

My Meal – Hand Picked Spanner Crab Salad served with Avocado Mousse, Pickled Asparagus, Mild Jalapeno, Coriander and Sliced Radish $35.00

I really enjoyed my salad and it was exactly what I was hoping for. The crab meat was soft and tender contrasting the crunchy radish slices, the mild heat from the jalapenos, the coriander and the soft and light avocado mousse. The salad was placed on top of sliced avocado pieces which gave it a different texture to the avocado mousse which was a lot smoother and soft once you took in each mouthful. This is a dish that I will definitely order again especially when I feel like something light and not too heavy.

And a meal cannot be complete without ordering some dessert. Mr Muscles knew I wanted some dessert so ordered a Mango Mousse for us to share. We ended up ordering another dessert as the birthday boy whilst not so much into dessert deserved to eat something special for his birthday so we ordered him an apple crumble to share with everyone.

Mango Mousse

Chilled Mango Mousse topped with Mango Jelly, Meringue Drops & Baby Basil Salad $15.00

I really enjoyed the mango mousse as it was really light and airy as a mousse should be. There was a nice contrast with the diced mango jelly and mango pieces on top of the mousse. Mr Muscles didn’t care for the basil garnish so he took that out and put it aside. This is a nice and refreshing dessert if you want something not too heavy and dense for dessert. It also wasn’t too sweet or rich which I liked.

Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble Flavours – Sweet & Sour Apple Empanada, Peanut Brittle, Salted Caramel Ice-Cream, Apple Pickle and Caramel Cider $19.00

I only tried the ice cream and a bit of the peanut brittle from this dish but everyone on the table seemed to really enjoy this dessert. It appeared as a deconstructed take on a classic apple crumble but twisted in a way to make it very modern. The ice cream was rich and decadent and usually I’m not a fan of salted caramel but this was really delicious. The brittle was very crispy and light and tore apart very easily. If you are wanting a dessert that is a bit more decadent, this is definitely the perfect dessert to order.

All in all, I was really happy with the lunch we had at Gowings. The restaurant really cares about its plating and presentation and each dish is packed with lots of flavour utilising fresh, organic ingredients. Although the food might be quite pricey, the food does not disappoint. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy their meals. I definitely will be back again most likely for breakfast and lunch to try out all their other menu items.

It was a great lunch with great food and even greater company! Happy birthday again Mr FOB (even though you probably won’t read this ;P)

For details of their breakfast items and restaurant details, please see previous post.

Until next time!

x

Jackie

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Birthday, Lunch, Restaurant, Sydney, Western

Jackpot Celebrates 28 Part 2…

Hello All!

Following my previous post, the birthday celebrations continued with a lunch at Taxi Dining Room to celebrate Ms G’s birthday and my own birthday along with Ms G and Mr D’s engagement. Mr H and Ms K joined us for the festivities as a surprise. It was great catching up with everyone to celebrate together.

We all chose to have the special Bento set which consisted of 4 courses for $48.50. We all thought this was a good deal and the food looked quite appealing so we all decided to go with this. The only option that we needed to pick was the main course. We all decided to share each main with each other so that we could taste both options. The food whilst being small in portion was really lovely and the presentation of each dish was impeccable. My only complaint about the lunch would be that I did not indulge in enough dessert as the dessert portion was small and having a massive sweet tooth I was craving more dessert after the meal…but I couldn’t be too greedy as I knew I’d be indulging in much more dessert at dinner. The white wine was flowing throughout the lunch and everyone at the table started sharing funny stories they remembered about each other or friends we knew. The laughter was endless and the stories were plentiful. We were all eager to find out how Mr D proposed to Ms G and as they told us their story, it was very romantic – involving a hand made story book about the couple. Congratulations Ms G and Mr D…I’m looking forward to when Ms G becomes Mrs GDRZ ;P

Photos from the lunch:

The Bento Menu

Seeded Wholemeal Bread Roll

Butter

1st and 2nd course: Market fresh salmon sashimi with Taxi dressing and Shinshu miso soup with shimeji mushrooms and spring onion

3rd Course: Confit chicken raviolo with parmesan, asparagus and macadamia – this was a really nice dish!

3rd Course: Roasted John Dory with Spring vegetables, sage and crab tortellini

4th Course: Dessert – Yarra Valley berries with goat’s curd sorbet and strawberry consomme

After resting up before dinner, I got ready to go out again for another food adventure. This time it was to Ezard for a degustation in which I went into a food coma. I think dessert pushed me over the edge and I was slightly cursing my sweet tooth for indulging so much into dessert. I have been to Black by Ezard in Sydney twice and have always enjoyed my meal there. They do great steaks and have really nice desserts. I celebrated my birthday last year with my family at Black and they all enjoyed their meals. I have also been to Gingerboy twice in Melbourne and have enjoyed their hawker style Asian street food. I remember eating this fabulous white chocolate tofu cheesecake there one time and it was really amazing that I wished I could go back to just order that one dessert dish. Unfortunately it’s no longer on the menu but it will be forever reminisced as one of my favourite restaurant dessert dishes. I have never been to Ezard before so I was keen to try this restaurant and it recently was awarded “The Age Good Food Guide 2013 Diner’s Choice Award” so it made me even more curious to see what the food was like. I opted for a vegetarian degustation as I usually do while Mr Muscles opted for the normal degustation.

Each degustation is an 8 course tasting menu with each course having a lot of Asian influence through each dish. I can say that I didn’t dislike any course and each one was very enjoyable. Mr Muscles seemed to also enjoy each course as well. My favourite dish of the night had to be the polenta dish. Polenta served with mushrooms, peas, a mini poached egg, parmesan crisp and truffle oil. While polenta can be quite heavy, as this was a small portion it was very enjoyable. Mr Muscle’s favourite dish of the night was the citrus and vodka cured salmon, black quinoa, olive oil jam, smoked yoghurt with tangerine vinaigrette dish. He couldn’t stop raving on about the flavours and the texture of the dish that it was consumed within minutes. And of course we decided to order the dessert tasting platter which was quite a large serving of desserts and when it was placed on our table, a huge smile swept across my face as I couldn’t wait to try each one. My favourite dessert dish was the pannacotta as I always choose pannacotta if it’s on the menu for dessert and also the honeycomb ice cream with toasted gingerbread. Even though they were small portions, I was getting very full at this point but it’s as if my stomach decided to open up even more space somewhere deep inside to allow me to eat these desserts. Some of these desserts were too good to share and you would often here me say to Mr Muscles “Oh but you don’t like pannacotta…Oh you don’t like honeycomb..” to which he would just stare at me in amazement and confusion but often letting me try most of the desserts anyway =)

Photos from dinner at Ezard:

Different Flavoured Salt and Pepper for the bread. This was really nice and I usually don’t like pepper but once the bread was dipped in the rosemary olive oil along with the different salts and peppers, the flavours worked well together.

VEGETARIAN: sweet corn and basil soup with red curry oil with a tofu shooter – I really loved the soup which was served warm. It appears to look heavy but was actaully very light. The tofu shooter however wasn’t as enjoyable as it looked as the flavours didn’t really go with the tofu and the strong sake flavour was probably more suited to the oyster which was the original dish.

japanese inspired oyster shooter 

VEGETARIAN: salad of baby beetroot, asparagus, parmesan custard, white truffle vinaigrette – I really enjoyed this dish as I love beetroot. Very fresh and light.

citrus and vodka cured salmon, black quinoa, olive oil jam, smoked yoghurt, tangerine vinaigrette – Mr Muscles couldn’t stop raving about this dish so I’ll have to take his word for it.

VEGETARIAN: steamed spiced tofu with chilli, fragrant oils and crispy sweet potato – I liked this dish as I really enjoy eating tofu. Tofu is a big staple for me in my diet and I loved how the crispy sweet potato strings contrasted the very smooth silken tofu. It was also surprisingly not too chilli as I have a very low tolerance to chilli in food but was glad that it was more mild than hot.

steamed blue swimmer crab dumpling with yarra valley salmon roe, celery cress and tom kha – I tried a bit of this as I was curious to see what the flavours were like. I enjoyed this dish and wished there was a bigger portion. The crab dumpling was very flavoursome but when added with the tom kha soup, there was even more layers of flavour and added some spice and richness to the dish.

VEGETARIAN: soft white polenta with sauteed mushrooms, peas, poached egg, parmesan crisp, truffle oil – This was my most favourite dish of the night and not just because I love polenta but it was soft, rich and moreish that I wanted to have a main course size of this. The mushrooms worked well together with the mini poached egg that was placed on top of the polenta. The parmesan crisp gave it a nice crunch to contrast the soft and smooth flavour of the polenta. YUM ;P

salad of baby beetroot, asparagus and serrano jamon, parmesan custard and black truffle vinaigrette – similar to the vegetarian version I had but with serrano jamon.

VEGETARIAN: roasted jerusalem artichoke, celeriac cream, asparagus, soft herbs and chive oil – I’m not a big fan of artichoke so I didn’t really enjoy this dish as much. The flavours were nice but it felt a bit heavy for me. I started to regret loading up on the bread in the beginning of the meal at this stage.

pan roasted baby barramundi with caramelised eggplant, tomato and lime salad, yellow curry dressing

VEGETARIAN: sesame rice noodle roll with asian mushrooms, soy mirin broth, black bean crumbs – I was looking forward to this dish as I had seen photos from other people’s blogs about this dish and also because I love rice noodles, however this dish was way too rich for me. The broth whilst very fragant, was too rich and very salty for my liking so I left most of the broth in my bowl. I did enjoy the rice noodle rolls and the mushrooms but it would have been better with a less saltier broth.

slow cooked bangalow pork belly, apple pudding, fennel, celeriac and calvados jus – Mr Muscles only qualm about this dish is that pork belly should have crackling and the dish was lacking this crunch factor.

VEGETARIAN: handmade potato gnocchi, manchego, dried olive, cauliflower, raisins and toasted brioche crumble – I’m not really a fan of potato gnocchi and by this stage I was starting to get quite full. The dish was really heavy and the cheese and the toasted brioche made the dish feel even more heavier when eaten. I passed most of this off to Mr Muscles to finish off as I couldn’t finish the serving myself. He agreed that this dish was very heavy. This was probably my least favourite dish of the night.

eight score sher wagyu beef, potato terrine, garlic and red wine jam, mushroom soil, bordelaise jus

Palate Cleanser

AND now to the much anticipated dessert tasting platter:

Dessert Tasting Platter to Share consisting of:

  • espresso chocolate marquise, soft meringue, raspberry gel, blood orange sorbet – I did not really enjoy this as it was very rich and bitter and I am not a fan of anything with coffee in it
  • fromage frais pannacotta, poached rhubarb, strawberry water, saffron fairy floss – I really enjoyed this and the pannacotta paired well with the rhubarb and strawberry water
  • pistachio frangipane, caramelised strawberries, tonka bean ice cream – This was a dense type of cake but I didn’t mind it and the ice cream gave it another texture when eaten together.
  • honeycrunch ice cream, toasted gingerbread and sugar swirl – I loved this dish as the ice cream was really scrumptuous and you would get tiny pieces of honeycomb when you bit into the ice cream. Ice cream + gingerbread = success!
  • sable of apple and pear, earl grey tea creme brulee, lemongrass jelly, cider sorbet – I only tried a bit of this as I had gorged out on all the other desserts. I loved the earl grey tea creme brulee as I love earl grey in desserts. It reminded me of a time I ate at Arras in Walsh Bay in Sydney and they had an earl grey dessert that was so good I wanted more. The sable was very nice and had a good crunch to it in contrast to the smoothness of the creme brulee.
  • salted caramel parfait, chocolate peanut butter crunch, pressed paw paw and blackberry syrup – I didn’t try this as I’m not much of a fan of salted caramel or peanut butter in my desserts but Mr Muscles told me this was quite a good dessert after demolishing it.

 

I was super full after the dessert and was in a serious food coma but it was really worth it. I would definitely go back to Ezard especially for their desserts.

We ended up having a few drinks after dinner with friends to celebrate further. I was so full though at this point that I could not enjoy the cocktails as much. However it was a great way to cap off the birthday celebrations – lots of fun and laughter throughout the day, indulging in food and just enjoying the atmosphere of melbourne with great company.

Some Syringe Cocktails we had to celebrate 😉 What an awesome and creative gimmick!

Taxi Dining Room

Level 1, Transport Hotel, Federation Square

Cnr Flinders Street and Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone: (03)9654 8808

Ezard

187 Flinders Lane,
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Phone: (03) 9639 6811

Hours:

Lunch Mon-Fri 12:00pm-2:30pm

Dinner Mon-Sat 6:00pm-10:30pm

Website: http://www.ezard.com.au/

Till next time!

x

Jackie

Leave a comment

Filed under Asian, Bento, Birthday, Degustation, Dessert, Dinner, Fine Dining, Japanese, Lunch, Melbourne, Vegetarian, Western

Jackpot celebrates 28 Part 1…

Hello all!

The tiredness and exhaustion is slowly starting to sink in this morning. I’m definitely feeling some Monday-itis as I was busy taking in all of the celebrations from the weekend. Birthdays always mean lots of good food, plenty of cake and catching up with lots of wonderful people and this weekend involved all of that and much much more. This is probably going to be a long post showcasing all the food I consumed over the weekend but all that calorie intake was well worth it!

FRIDAY

Friday night involved a surprise birthday dinner with friends and family at Umi Sushi, Darling Quarter unbeknownst to me. I really had no clue whatsoever. I was under the pretence that I would be celebrating turning 28 with the BF at Sepia in the city but little did I know that he had sneakily organised a big birthday surprise dinner for me. I had a wonderful time catching up with everyone and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a birthday than with all your loved ones.

Some photos from the night:

A red velvet cupcake from Cupcake Bakery from Ms S and Mr H

One of my favourite dishes: Tiger Roll: Crabstick, Avocado, Cucumber wrapped with Prawn and Avocado

Salmon and Avocado Salad with Sesame Dressing

My birthday cake: Adriano Zumbo’s New Raspberry V8 Cake

Flavour layers consisting of: black sesame, raspberry, liquorice, lychee and rosewater. You can really taste each layer as you eat it with the layers of jelly and cream contrasting the crunchy biscuit base.

Inside shot of the Raspberry V8 cake

SATURDAY

Saturday day and night were spent in Melbourne eating wonderful food, catching up with friends and just walking around Melbourne CBD. The weather was typical Melbourne weather with sunshine, clouds and rain all in one day but that didn’t put a damper on the celebrations.

Mr Muscles and I visited Degraves Street in the city for breakfast. We were both feeling quite hungry and wanted a hearty meal to start of the day so that we could walk around the city feeling energised. Degraves Street looks like a little alley way but it is filled with little cafes on each side. Melbourne is all about the little alley ways where lots of cafes, restaurants and bars can be found.

We chose to eat at Degraves Espresso Bar. The Cafe was very small but very crowded and the cafe is well known for its assortment of paninis and breakfast food. You have to wait for a seat inside or try your luck for tables outside in the alley way. We were lucky enough to get a seat sitting in front of the window staring out at all the people eating their breakfast and sipping their coffees in the alley way. Mr Muscles chose to eat eggs benedict with sourdough toast as he usually does at most cafes we go to for breakfast whilst I chose to eat scrambled eggs on sourdough toast. The food came out very quick once we placed our order with the waiter. The food was good but wasn’t spectacular that I would come back again for it. It did the job though by filling our stomachs with enough energy to continue our walking adventures around the melbourne CBD.

After Degraves we visited my very favourite organic Cafe/Store at Degraves Street, The Organic Food and Wine Deli (TOFWD) to buy some vegan banana cake. If you love all things healthy, all things, vegan and gluten free – this is a place you must visit. They sell all types of sweet and savoury foods. Sweet food ranging from vegan banana cakes, carrot cakes and poppyseed cakes, banana breads, muesli slices, raw cheesecake slices, cinnamon scrolls, vegan muffins and so much more. Savoury foods consist of various pies made with spelt flour, an assortment of sandwiches, spelt pasta dishes and salads. Whenever I go to Melbourne, I always try and visit this place to get my organic food fix for the day.

Photos from Degraves Espresso Bar:

View of the alley way from inside the cafe

View inside the cafe

Blackboard Menu

Scrambled Eggs with Sourdough Toast $8.90

Eggs Benedict with ham served with home-made hollandaise sauce on sourdough Toast $16.00

I think i’m too addicted to green tea ;P

Another place that I always visit when I go to Melbourne is Cacao Green. I love frozen yoghurt (also known more commonly as Froyo). I became so addicted to froyo when I visited Jakarta, Indonesia many years ago where the fad was just starting. Jakarta have some really good froyo places such as Sour Sally, Red Mango and I’m sure a lot more now since I last was there. The craze has been quickly rising in sydney and around australia. I love Noggi in sydney for its Green Tea Froyo. I prefer my froyo to taste more yoghurt than icecream and they do a really good green tea frozen yoghurt compared to Moochi which is another popular frozen yoghurt chain.

Cacao Green is quite similar to Red Mango from Jakarta. They started Red Mango from a franchise in the US and Cacao Green really reminds me of the froyo from there. I prefer the original flavoured froyo here but they also sell Green Tea, Chocolate and Blueberry flavoured frozen yoghurt.

We also visited another frozen yoghurt chain to see the difference in taste and texture. At QV they have a frozen yoghurt place called Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt. The difference with this frozen yoghurt is that it is self service and you can put as much frozen yoghurt and toppings into your container as you like and it is priced on weight. I didn’t think that the frozen yoghurt would taste nice but to my surprise it was pretty good. We got a mixture of taro froyo and green tea froyo with some pearls, nata de coco and mochi balls. I think I will visit this place again when I go back to Melbourne. The Taro froyo was so good that me and Mr Muscles were fighting for the last bite of it. I won in the end of course ;P

Cacao Green

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt: Taro/Green Tea Froyo with Mochi Balls, Lychee Pearls and Nata de Coco

I visited Phillippa’s bakery in the CBD. I have seen their biscuits sold around sydney in DJ’s and various cafes so I was excited to find the actual bakery in Melbourne. They sell breakfast and lunch food with freshly baked bread, pastries and biscuits/cookies. I was like a kid in a candy store wanting to buy everything I saw but once again I restrained myself to just looking at the food in awe. I ended up buying spelt muesli cookies which I hadn’t seen before. I am yet to eat them but they look so very tempting!

Bread Loaves and Baguettes

The assortment of biscuits and cookies

Assorted Pastries and Muffins

The variety of biscuits, biscotti, jams and cake slices

My purchase of Spelt Muesli Cookies with Pecans and Cranberries

Umi Sushi + Udon

Shop TR10, Darling Quarter, 1 Harbour St

Sydney, Australia 2000

Trading Hours:

Mon-Thu 11:30am-10pm

Fri-Sat 11:30am-10:30pm

Sun 11:30am-10pm

Phone: (02) 9283 2006

Website: www.umisushi.com.au

Degraves Espresso Bar

25 Degraves St

Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone: (03) 9654 1245

Trading Hours:

Sun 8am – 5:30pm

Mon-Wed 7am-9:30pm

Thu 7am-10pm

Fri 7am-10:30pm

Sat 8am-6:30pm

The Organic Food and Wine Deli

28 Degraves Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone:  (03) 9654 5157

Website: http://www.tofwd.com.au/

Opening hours:

Mon-fri 7am – 7.30pm

Saturday 8am – 6pm

Sunday 9am – 5pm

Cacao Green – Swanston

285 Swanston Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

(03) 9654 9674

Trading Hours:

Sun – Wed 11am to 10pm

Thurs – Sat 11am to 11pm

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt

Shop 1-034, QV Urban Market, QV Building

210 Lonsdale Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

Website: http://www.tuttifruttiyogurt.com.au/default.aspx

Phillippa’s

15 Howey Place

Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone: (03) 9671 4030

Hours

Monday to Friday 8.00am – 5.30pm

Saturday 10.00am – 4.00pm

Website: http://www.phillippas.com.au/

To be continued with Lunch at Taxi Dining Room at Federation Square and Dinner at Ezard…

x

Jackie

Leave a comment

Filed under Bakery, Birthday, Biscuits and Cookies, Breakfast, Cafe, Cake, Dessert, Dinner, Eggs, Frozen Yoghurt, Health Food, Japanese, Melbourne, Snacks, Sushi, Western