As happy as you may be to finally go back to work on a Monday, you may want to visit Ormeggio at The Spit on a Sunday. Just because you have a free afternoon doesn’t mean you should spend it at home. Since opening in 2009, Ormeggio has gained themselves Two Chef Hats in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide 2015 and it’s about time I visit this mystical land that they call “Stressless Sunday Dinner” in one of Mosman bay. It’s natural to hype up what you think $69 for 5 courses will be like in your imagination, but know that it’s probably the most cheapest meal I’ve been at by a hatted Italian restaurant. Think more “Great Gatsby” entrance when every dish arrives at your table.
What a view!
To find oneself in a never-ending plight to live healthfully, this organic sourdough with homemade whipped ricotta is an excellent place to start. Applause for meeting all the Nessy Eater requirements as it was served very warm, which lured me to really enjoy the aroma of this freshly baked bread. The crust was my absolute favourite as it offered a mixture of textures of being crusty and at the same time chewy. As for the wholesome inside, expect it to be between fluffy and spongy. Very lucky this bread didn’t turn into a wheat-brick. And what about that whipped ricotta eh? It was the simplicity and creaminess that surprised me! I almost begged the waiter for another round of this creamy spread.
Organic warm sour dough
This is no doubt green light dish or should I say a fantastic ocean trout appetiser with daikon, squid ink, mussels mayonnaise and dill. This is just one incredible presentation that I couldn’t believe I was about to devour. There was a lot of chopped omega 3 goodness in this and a lovely powerful dimples of sauce’s to create additional flavours. To stir the textures up the crunchiness of the dill brought a comfortable finish.
Yeah that was my ride on the left…KIDDING!
If you aren’t the kind of bid kid who takes joy in mixing the perfect martini then Pavoni martini ($22) is the one for you my friends. Something a little different and unexpected was this cocktail provides a bowl of olives, YES A BOWL OF OLIVES! This totally deserves an award for cocktail presentation.
Pavoni Martini ($22)
Make sure you make stomach room for the strawberry mojito ($11)-it’s a non alcoholic mocktail glory. The sweet, juicy crushed strawberries are a perfect compliment to the lime and mint. It’s a great beverage when you’re in the mood for something fruity and what better way to beat the heat during summer.
Strawberry Mojito ($11)
The tagliolini has got to come in a BIGGER size than a spoonful. I think I just confessed this dish was just super small for me. The pasta was fantastico-it provided the perfectly cooked strings of tagliolini that covered in a decadent mascarpone sauce and dusted with bottarga di pilu with a hint of lemon. The pasta was a perfect cradle for the sauce and a dusting of the bottarga (fish roe) really makes this dish sing. Fingers crossed next time I visit Ormeggio they offer upsizing this dish. I’ve put a lot of love eating this pasta and I wouldn’t mind doing it again for the second time.
By now I was ready for bed but that didn’t stop me from eating the braised lamb which I like to add it was truly gorgeous in presentation, especially with the river of yogurt, tomato that looked like watermelon pieces, coriander and garam masala. The lamb easily produced a flavoursome and tender outcome, however there was a slightly extra flavour and smell of game, which kind of ruined it for me.
Braised lamb shoulder
The greatest thing about pre-desserts is that you know there is another dessert coming up. Don’t be ashamed; take advantage of the opportunity of having two desserts! It’s an invitation to pamper yourself. Textures of passion fruit with coconut was all fun and games as it provided that sweet, smooth yet crunchy taste. Thumbs up for that palate-cleansing dish!
Behold! Ormeggio’s signature dessert landed at our table and I can’t quite put my finger on how many carrots were used in the making of this dish. It is one of the all-time favourites, and for good reason. The carrot cake is between spongy and moist, but not mushy if that’s what you are thinking. The cake softens more when it’s dunked into the fennel ice-cream and with the farro it adds that extra kick to the dessert. What was intriguing about this dessert was the dollops of vinegar caramel. I know it sounds insane to have vinegar in your dessert, but it strangely blends well with the sweet caramel and provides a little zing feeling.
Contemporary Italian cuisine is something I haven’t experienced before and I can finally tick that off, thanks to Ormeggio. I was certainly impressed with not only their food but hospitality as well. Staff knew what they were doing and was very knowledgeable with the menu and even the wine list. For a two hatted restaurant that offers an insane valuable dinner at $69 per person for 5 course meal with an ocean view, I think you’d be stressed not to visit on a Sunday.
Photos by Vanny Tang
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HAPPY 2015 FOODIE FRIENDS! Can you believe it’s mid of January already?! By now you may have noticed Nessy Eater’s been busy indulging desserts and summery meals on Instagram. The Food Gods knew that they’d needed new volunteers to take up the festive Christmas feast and so they immediately decided to choose me. OH the pain I had to endure and retire my typewriter during the holiday season. But sometimes when you’re giving a task during Xmas by the Food Gods and it involves your stomach and gingerbread man, it’s automatically a food hall pass. This hall pass was cherished and used judiciously for it is not an easy thing to obtain. The hall pass is something to be prized and by verbal consent from the Food Gods and Santa, Nessy Eater has permission to share great foods with you kids. What are you waiting for? Let’s begin!
It’s my second visit to Crossroads Bar at Swissotel Sydney and just before I had retired my typewriter and crisp white paper, I managed to spot a really good deal on Groupon. For $79 for two people, you get Christmas Weekend High Tea plus a cocktail for each person. Before treating your tummy to savoury foods and sweet delights, I wanted to quickly inform you that this deal was ALL YOU CAN EAT high tea. I repeat High Tea BUFFET. DON’T PANIC IF YOU’VE MISSED OUT! After a quick investigation like a detective I found out through the Swissotel’s website the high tea buffet is still on but not Xmas themed though. I’m sure it would be still as good and it is normally $79 per person. That’s CRAZY! I saved $79! This by far was the best deal that I’ve ever purchased from Groupon.
Are you drooling?
Before thunder and lightning strikes to my typewriter I think it’s now time to share the Christmas spirit with you. Within a 5-star luxury hotel the Swissotel does get a thumbs up for their modern and elegant interior, however their service and overall management did not make it to a two-star. We were disappointed by the lack of service and management skills. For example when we arrived, staffs at the Swissotel looked like they wanted to wrestle with guests in UFC style. You could see it in their eyes they were very frustrated and sad, especially when there was one main bartender, a supervisor and three waitresses serving around fourty five plus guests. Waitresses responded with a robotic tone and left unhappily after we made our beverage orders. I guess Santa’s been overworking his helpers. Anyways moving on to rainbows and unicorns.
Our festive fare started with Christmas pudding. This traditional pud is made from vine fruit and butter, eggs and a splash of vanilla custard. Each handmade pudding was the size of a baseball and half a tennis ball. What does it taste like? Think fruitcake. It’s not everyone’s taste as it’s an acquired taste, it’s cream sauce with dried fruits in it. I think it err needed lots of cream to tone it down.
Strawberry cream caramel kept vanishing every time I was forced to return to the dessert bar. Lightly greasy but it’s wrapped around a creamy center that won’t disappoint. The half sliced strawberry made this dessert refreshing. I like the chance to play around with the wobbly jelly like texture of the cream caramel before I devour it. It gives me time to mingle before I say good-bye to it for the second time. If you’re craving for that caramel sauce to take home then you need to ask Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich for a favour.
Strawberry cream caramel
I managed to somehow not shatter the blackberry pavlova into a million pieces before it made it back to my table. The fun sized pavlova looked like snow ball meringues. It was extremely light and airy. Being able to taste it for the third time, it was one of those fabulous treats to go along with a cup of tea.
As Christmas traditions go, starting a marvellous high tea with a shot of eggnog is another great way to celebrate the festive season. The shot was very satisfying as there was an egg-rich dairy punch flavour. It can be very boozy and super rich if there’s more eggs added, but thankfully not.
Festive must haves were the fruit mince tart. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without buttery pastries and fruity mince pies. These delectable star shaped mince pies simply provided a moment of self-indulgence for me. The outside butter-enriched pastry is stuffed with chunks of moist fruit and topped with heavy sprinkles of icing.
Fruit star tart
Oh hot summer days means we need to thank the bartender at Swissotel for making us the strawberry cocktail. Though we were half way feeding our inner cravings, we still managed to wash this beverage down. The sweetness of the strawberries was a real crowd pleaser and off course the rum. It wasn’t sickly sweet, which is good news coming from the syrup. The texture kicked ass as it felt like a strawberry slushy rather than a classic cocktail.
Me thinks the strawberry panna cotta was carefully crafted. The strawberries makes a great companion with the panna cotta for bright, sharp summer fruit. The taste was somewhat cream-heavier but that didn’t matter too much because I was mildly annoyed at the casual sophistication of the presentation for this dessert.
Strawberry panna cotta
Just look at how this chocolate fountain GLISTENS! It brings a smile to everyone’s face including the grumpy cats. Stop making me smile chocolate fountain! STOP IT!
I simply couldn’t get enough of the salted caramel and jam lamingtons. The lamingtons were sandwiching the sweet jam. I tried burying evidence of me eating this, but the shredded dried coconuts around my mouth gave it away.
Salted caramel and jam lamingtons
This chilled blueberry panna cotta in a miniature plastic cup was simply impressive. The fresh blueberries and pipped cream married so well with the silky smooth vanilla bean gelatine.
Blueberry panna cotta
With our voucher package, we were treated with selections of tea or coffee. All teas are from T2.
English breakfast by T2
Tempt the tastebuds with smoked salmon tartar with pipped cream cheese on waffle cone. It’s so easy to eat and I didn’t notice I ate five till I started counting the gold wrappers. Oh Whoops!
Smoked salmon tartar cone
Not sure if sandwiches are meant to look like they’re all swirled up but hey I’m loving it. This smoked turkey, pickled raspberry jam and rocket on harvest grain was juicy with that jam spread across the bread so evenly. The thick pieces of turkey was zomg crazy ass delicious.
Smoked turkey swirl sandwich
Making my way back to the buffet bar and look who do we have here…cocktail prawn station with Crystal Bay Australian reef prawn cocktail with lemon and cocktail dressing.
Cocktail prawn station
The fire roasted red capsicums with green olive and goat cheese baguette was my least favourite. It was an interesting take on for me in terms of flavours. It has that sweet sourness from the olive and cold texture of goat cheese which I didn’t favour.
Wicked, decadent and sinful was hardly the best description for these dreamy little masterpieces. I took my time connecting with the Christmas profiteroles. Glazed with milk chocolate atop and sprinkles of crushes chocolate pieces, I think it was the perfect addition to the buffet bar.
Wait there’s MORE DESSERTS?! I became very full from stuffing my belly with trying a bit of everything, but noooooooo the pastry chef had to bring this blackberry and white chocolate mousse just before I was about to pack my fat body and go. My belly was crying on the inside but because this mousse cake was beautifully presented, I had to cut a seven inch width slice of cake.
Blackberry and white chocolate mousse
I spy with my eyes….. is that a full plate of Christmas macarons? A sensational dessert that always alwAYS ALWAYS pleases! Hehe.
We had to arrange a little bit more stomach space for the spring berry tart. Glad we did because that tart had just came straight out of the pastry headquarters looking all innocent and sweet.
Spring berry tart
Woohoo our Christmas Afternoon Tea finally came to an end, however I’m sorry I’ve missed out taking a few photos of some desserts and savories. Overall I loved skipping my way to the buffet bar and thank goodness majority of the desserts and savoury tasted magical so I could forget about their below average service. Totes heart every single desserts presentation. Swissotel is a great spot for afternoon tea whores, for example like me, although it’s a tad pricey but it’s ALL YOU CAN EAT sugar. To my disappointment I couldn’t walk out of the hotel like a Victoria Secret Model in high heels. Instead I left waddling out like Mumble from Happy Feet and swore to myself that I ain’t gonnabe eating dinner…
Top view of spring berry tart
Photos by Vanny Tang
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Don’t feel guilty about going straight to the bar and ordering endless amounts of cocktail, tapas and dessert at Onyx Lounge, near Newtown Station. This romantic bar specialises in adults only drinks and has over 120 cocktails you can choose from, from their menu. Yes, this bar allows you to create your own mini tapas party for the evening with the choice of share plates, mains, pizza and burgers. Seconds from Cuckoo Callay, this newish bar is surprisingly gorgeous and hidden upstairs. Keep an eye out for the Onyx sign on King Street, Newtown.
You can easily spot Onyx with this sign.
Speechless when I first walked in.
Deciding what to eat at Onyx.
I love the look of the swanky Fairyfloss cocktail ($16.90). This beverage is without doubt a girly drink because it’s so hard to hide behind the curtains with the contagious colour of pink. A large pile of fairyfloss was swimming in vodka and strawberry coulis.
Fairyfloss cocktail ($16.90)
If no one orders this Blue Galactic cocktail ($16.90) then you need to move to another galaxy. The idea of bringing vodka, blue curacao, lemon, and berry coulis is brilliant. It is possible to believe we didn’t order another one because it was the most desirable cocktail for the evening.
Blue Galactic cocktail ($16.90)
We cheated a little with the Quesadilla Chicken ($14), conning our way by chucking a few slices of chorizo. However the marinated chicken strips, mozzarella cheese on a flour tortilla served with avocado dipping sauce seriously knows how to knock your face with burst of flavours.
Quesadilla Chicken ($14)
Remember to look carefully at the Chorizo and Potato ($14) as it was a bit of a roller-coaster of flavour and fun with Spanish pork chorizo slices, chat potato chunks in an oven roasted roma tomato and smokey chipotle chilli jam. I found the chorizo to be very tasty as it literally brings the heat to this dish. I was challenged to go fire walking with the tomato and chipotle chilli jam.
Chorizo and Potato ($14)
It is compulsory to order the Deep Fried Tasmanian Heritage Brie ($10). The cranberry sauce brings the best out of the fried brie. It’s kind of like a stepping stone of new flavours. This dish brought a confident smile out of me. Under enormous pressure from Almighty Princess, I ordered another one of these because our hearts couldn’t stop melting for these.
Deep Fried Tasmanian Heritage Brie ($10)
You know how to make my heart melt fried brie ❤
Discover the Spicy Italian Meatballs ($16) as you attempt to give your tastebuds some character. There is no way you won’t connect with these meatballs because every bite full contains that extra heat to your body. The texture is faultless with a bouncy chewiness centre with the splash of the homemade tomato sauce and shaved parmesan atop, it lets your tongue enter a whole new world. If you’re craving for some spice, better feed your intestines with this bowl of meatballs.
Spicy Italian Meatballs ($16)
Back in the day I remember that fairy god mothers would sprinkle rainbows on my toast but when you’re 18+ the 100 & 1000s cocktail ($16.90) is the new way of seeing rainbows and butterflies. This cocktail contained vodka, triple sec, lime juice and cranberry juice. It goes down sweet with the extra colours.
100 & 1000s cocktail ($16.90)
Almighty Princess and I were set to order desserts, so it occurred to me that the Pistachio Ice-Cream ($10) appeared to look classic on their menu, so what we did best is order it. However, something about the presentation didn’t seem right. I felt like it didn’t have its own identity and it was chilling to see it look like this. But the scoop and half ice-cream had flavours of pistachio, fig & honey and buried undernealth berry coulis with fresh crushed pistachio nuts which made me ask for more.
Pistachio Ice-Cream ($10)
It’s hard not to love the Flaming Chocolate Tarte ($10) on a Friday night, especially if your dessert gives you a front-row seat to see it go on FIRE. Which mine did. I’m a sucker for the quirky tricks and creative spirit when a restaurant offers this kind of ingredient.
Flaming Chocolate Tarte ($10)
This chocolate tarte is a really decadent and it’s so entertaining to witness my dessert in flames. The tart filling is an absolute delight and will make your your mouth water with semi-sweet chocolate, and sweet pastry. Add a spoonful of vanilla ice-cream to lighten the rich texture, but create a creamy flavour.
Never thought I’d be happy that my dessert would go up in flames.
There’s an array of flavours and textures in Onyx’s menu. For me though, the soul of the menu is in the cocktails and nibbles. From the minute I walked upstairs and noticed the fairy lights, my heart instantly skipped a beat. I naturally started thinking this place is a hot spot in every sense for Newtown with chilled, classy interior and cosy seats. Onyx Restaurant & Cocktail Bar is great for after work drinks and can easily turn it into a romantic date.
Photos by Vanny Tang
Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended as a guest with $100 voucher, thanks to Onyx Restaurant & Cocktail Bar.
Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.
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