Tag Archives: Dinner

Jackpot and Mr Muscles celebrate one year at Sokyo!

Hello dear readers!

I am finally back with a new post. It’s been a very long time and I am finding it more and more difficult to find time to blog whilst juggling work, basketball and baking. But I’m hoping that I can still maintain this blog and let you guys all know what I have been up to whether it’s baking in the kitchen making new recipes and experimenting with new ingredients or visiting new cafes and restaurants when I can.

Mr Muscles and I celebrated our one year a few weeks ago. Mr Muscles decided to take me to Sokyo to celebrate our anniversary as he had never been before and was eager to try the food. I have been a few times and always thought the food was really well executed so I was excited to come back and try other dishes which I hadn’t tried before. Japanese food is also our go to food when we don’t know what we are in the mood to eat so we know that we will always enjoy our meal regardless as we both have a love for Japanese food more so now than we ever did before.

We booked dinner for a saturday night and the restaurant became quite full quite quickly despite us having a very early dinner booking. There were birthdays celebrated that night, a hen’ s night dinner and lots of families with their little children.

Mr Muscles and I decided to order various dishes that both of us had never tried before and we were really happy with the selection of dishes we chose as each dish did not disappoint.

Scallop Sashimi

Scallop Sashimi served with assorted tomatoes and herbs

This was a really nice dish and usually I don’t eat a lot of raw food but the scallop sashimi was cut very finely and the tomatoes paired wonderfully with the scallops.

Tamago

Tamago

Mr Muscles knows how much I love eating tamago (egg omelette) whenever we go to Japanese restaurants so he ordered this for me. This was unlike anything I had eaten before mainly because it reminded me of a soft fluffy cake almost and not the firm texture in the omelette that I am used to eating. It was soft and melted in your mouth with each bite and I ended up eating most of this as Mr Muscles gave me his share.

Sashimi Salad

Sashimi Salad

Mr Muscles wanted to order a salad so we ended up getting the sashimi salad. I don’t really eat raw food so Mr Muscles ended up eating most of this. The salad itself was quite spicy from the chilli paste but I enjoyed the cherry tomatoes in this dish nonetheless.

Beef Short Rib

Robata – beef short rib, caramelised eschalots served with teriyaki sauce

I don’t usually eat much meat but this dish was really good. The beef melted in your mouth with each bite and it was so tender that Mr Muscles and I ended up eating this dish really quickly. It was rich in flavour but so wonderfully moreish.

Miso Cod

Caramelised Miso Cod served with Japanese Salsa and Cucumber Salad

I had heard that the Miso Cod was one of their stand out dishes so I knew I wanted to order this dish. We were not disappointed as the Miso cod was rich in flavour and also melted in your mouth with each bite as each piece fell apart easily. The cucumber salad cut through all the richness which paired really well with the fish. It was a really well executed dish which Mr Muscles and I enjoyed thoroughly.

Queensland Roll

Queensland Roll

We ordered the Queensland Roll which came out last for the savoury dishes and we were not disappointed by this choice. The sushi rolls were covered in rice paper instead of the normal seaweed which I thought was a really nice change and topped with avocado. It was such a wonderful dish that I really probably could have eaten two plates of this. Definitely something I will order again when I visit the restaurant again next time.

Tasting Plate at Sokyo

The Dessert Sampler: Yamazaki Caramel Macchiato (coffee ice cream, cocoa nibs and whisky foam), Sokyo’s Mochi Ice Cream (Yatsuhashi Kyoto mocha with frozen strawberry milkshake), Goma Street (black sesame ice-cream, caramelised white chocolate mousse sandwiched between 2 pieces of chocolate and nutty brittle pieces and a panacotta with tapioca sago pudding layered on top with tropical fruit served in a glass jar.

Mr Muscles decided to order the dessert sampler as if I had the choice I’m pretty sure I would have ordered 5 plates of dessert but by this time we were both getting quite full and I couldn’t decide between some of the desserts so the sampler was picked in the end.

I ended up eating most of this dessert sampler as Mr Muscles knows how much of  sweet tooth I have. I didn’t eat any of the Macchiato dessert as I am not a fan of coffee so Mr Muscles ended up eating all of this. Goma Street is the best dessert in my opinion at Sokyo – it never disappoints and all the flavours of black sesame and white chocolate pair wonderfully together that it leaves you wanting more each time. I devoured this whole that Mr Muscles didn’t end up tasting this except for a few left over scraps that I didn’t end up eating. The mochi ice cream is always a nice choice for dessert however I find the strawberry milkshake filling to be quite overpowering and sweet.  I was disappointed with the pannacotta that was not really reminiscent of a pannacotta. The texture was quite different than usual and more reminscent of liquid rather than being firm as if it were missing some gelatine. I felt that this dessert was a bit of a hit and a miss as the tapioca pudding layer also didn’t seem to really suit the dish.

All in all we had a wonderful dinner celebrating our anniversary. Good food and even better company – what more can you ask for?

Happy 1 Mr Muscles! Here’s to many more to come ;P

Sokyo

Level G, The Darling, The Star,

80 Pyrmont Street

Pyrmont, 2009

Until next time dear readers!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Dessert, Dinner, Fine Dining, Japanese, Restaurant, Sydney

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

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

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posts in the new year but I have been battling a fever and flu over the past few weeks and only recently have I recovered.

But be sure to see some new posts shortly.

I hope everyone had a wonderful time celebrating the new year and although mine wasn’t eventful, I spent a nice quiet new year resting at home albeit being quite sick with a bad fever.

Looking ahead to this year and the coming months…I’m hoping to try a lot of new recipes out and also return to some old recipes and see if I can reinvent them to make them even better!

You can now find me on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/jackpoteats and instagram #jackpoteats.

Here are a few snippets of some food pics I have taken lately.

Fried Icecream from Holy Basil

Fried Ice Cream from Holy Basil

Vegetarian Finger Sandwiches

Vegetarian Finger Sandwiches at Victoria Tea Salon for Lunch

Vegan Almond & Maple Cookies

Almond Cookies

Homemade Vegan Almond & Maple Cookies

Almond Meal and Raspberry Cookies

Homemade Almond Meal & Raspberry Paleo Cookies

Mr Wong Fried Ice Cream

Mr Wong Fried Ice Cream

Vegan Rice Paper Rolls

Vegan Rice Paper Rolls for Dinner from Miss Chu filled with Tofu, Mushrooms and Vegetables

Vegan Banh Cuon

Vegan Banh Cuon from Miss Chu filled with Tofu and Vegetables

Fishball Rice Noodle Soup served with Vegetables

Fish Ball Noodle Soup during my fever/flu weeks made by Mr Muscles

Egg White Omelette

Egg White Omelette for Dinner filled with mushrooms

Pandan Donuts

Homemade Baked Pandan Spelt Donutsattempt no.1

Stay tuned for my Baked Pandan Spelt Donuts Experiment post…I think I’m slightly obsessed with Pandan ;P

Till Next Time!

x

Jackpot Eats

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Filed under Asian, Breakfast, Dessert, Dinner, Eggs, Health Food, Healthy, High Tea, Nuts, Pandan, Vegan, Vegetarian, 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

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