Fine Dining

Everything Fine at LuMi Bar and Dining | Pyrmont

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Dining at a restaurant that’s right on Sydney’s wharf and sampling a cuisine that’s Japanese with an Italian twist is something you cannot forget. At LuMi Bar and Dining you’ll be able to maximise the experience as it has a beautiful open kitchen to watch chefs delicately construct your dishes or you can you sip on a cocktail and watch the Sydney view.

Hello LuMi Bar & Dining!

For a weekend lunch, we opted for an 8 course plus snacks which absolutely works for people who’d prefer to seat at the wharf on a sunny day and have a long lunch. First up the snacks arrived at our table with a glass of sparkling NV Rustico prosecco.

Snacks 

We kicked off with the zucchini pancake with generous sprinkles of grated parmesan. This tiny pancake of zucchini had me questioning how I was going to lift it up with my fat fingers as it looked very delicate. One sudden move and it could collapse!

Zucchini Pancake

It was quite an unusual snack but had a natural sweet taste to it. The parmesan cheese added an extra level of creaminess consistency, which I liked, a lot. Zucchini-haters will enjoy without them knowing this baby contains a vegetable in it.

Look at that delicate piece of zucchini pancake

Next up, we were surprised to see the diced tuna wrapped in a thin crispy sweet potato cone. In some cases, tuna is not always a favorite option of mine but serve it like this and I’ll be hunting the chef down. A very satisfying snack that pleases all ages. The tuna was well seasoned and the sweet potato was paper thin. I already feel healthier devouring this and you would too.

Tuna with sweet potato cone

Chanwamushi is a delicate savory Japanese dish that’s simply steamed hot egg custard bathed in dashi, soy sauce and mirin.

Moreton Bay Bug Chanwamushi

At LuMi, the flavors are quite different yet it does keep its original texture as a silky-smooth tofu pudding yet with a hint of Italian. It contained moreton bay bug juice, yuzu dashi and shellfish oil. Not a bad way to blend the two cuisines together into one as it was pure harmonious flavors in a cup.

OH MAN! This chanwamushi was super silky.

We received the housemade rye & spelt brioche. I giggled at the brioche as it looked like one of the Queen’s Royal crown. The brioche was beautifully golden, soft and perfectly puffed outside.

Here comes the Royal Crown rye & spelt brioche.

We smothered the warm toasty bread with easily spreadable burnt butter mascarpone. Add those two combinations together and we’ve created CARB HEAVEN.

I’m telling you…you’re in CARB HEAVEN after having this.

Open kitchen where you can witness the Chefs plate their food art work.

To our next course the tomato & strawberry was fresh fermented strawberries with skinless baby tomatoes. The flavours are zesty and simple, topped off with garden herbs which gave a burst of freshness.

Camouflage, can you guess which one is the tomatoes and which one is the strawberries?

Talk about bugs and everyone will start screaming but when it comes to moreton bay bug, LuMi does a terrific dish that will let you forget about the name!

Moreton Bay Bug

The edible meat was certainly something I’ve never encountered as it was served semi raw but well-seasonally cooked in texture.

Best moreton bay bug dish I’ve had so far!

It certainly brought a strong district flavor to the table which made them a perfect ingredient to marry with the seaweed crisp circular shell and heavily powered with what appeared to be green tea was seaweed powder. GODDAMN IT!!! I want to order another hundred of these.

Just look at this green beauty!

Couldn’t help but order the Yuzushu Sour ($18) just because. A very light, not overly sour cocktail as it contained a mix of Cointreau and Yuzu infused Umeshu. My tongue could feel the delicate hints of yuzu and perfect acidity to refresh my palates for the next course.

Yuzushu Sour ($18)

Here comes some pasta action and we were greeted with four mushroom agnolotti. It was overwhelming to see an oversized plate holding four delicately handmade pasta dumplings as this dish made me feel like I was giant, haha.

 Mushroom Agnolotti

Each agnolotti was thin and smooth holding a warm liquid center filled with a pool of manchego and a hint of truffle oil. Now it made perfect sense why the portion size was served as is. All four parcels delivered an incredible fantasy of pure delicate mushrooms with a surface of creaminess that tastes a gazillion times better than it looks, no offence.

Look how adorable is the mushroom agnolotti.

By now my body was asking for stomach expansion but the show must go on. For our last savory dish, we were served a piece of lamb that was nicely cooked as the meat would effortlessly part with not having to use much weight on the fork. There was an exquisite level of juiciness in the lamb and full of flavor that paired well with carrot mash.

Lamb

Don’t need no explanation for the kakigori as it magically looked pretty in pink on a plate. This was no ordinary simple shaved ice as it contained plum kakigori with basilvinegar custard and lime sherbet. One of most interesting palate cleanser I’ve tasted. It was tangy and a burst of aromatic citrus in my mouth with a punch of vinegar, surprisingly a wow factor and an excellent way to semi end it.

You had me at plum kakigori.

To wrap up our tasting menu the salted geranium that included salted geranium ice cream, black currant reduction and a violet mousse was phenomenal. It was sugar-crusted but not to overwhelming and the violet mousse and black currant provided a touch of sweetness with the slight bitterness from the salted geranium. Very enjoyable dessert as I had the opportunity to play with my food by karate cracking the top shell with my spoon.

Salted Geranium

After 3 hours to get through our small tasting menu all I can say is it’s worth every calorie to visit LuMi Bar and Dining, but it does come with a $120 per person price tag, however you get to eat at one of Sydney’s wharf and see a stunning view. I’d say it’s a one of the greatest ways to spend your money on! I hope this becomes a permanent part of my weekend lineup. Okay…maybe I’ll just keep dreaming, haha.

Exquisite View at LuMi Bar and Dining

 

This meal was independently paid for.

Photos by Vanny Tang

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LuMi Bar & Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Vue De Monde – Personality on a Plate – Round 2

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The last time I had visited Vue De Monde I was crazy impressed to know that my belly could not eat the next morning. Maybe it was because we had devoured an entire degustation menu, who knows. I was so convinced this time round that I’d know the menu off by heart but I was entirely wrong.

The adventure begins

Flashbacks appeared when I walked into the restaurant and was welcomed with Melbourne’s CBD view, but this time the night sky. Photos don’t do this restaurant any justice!

That view

We were first greeted with the pumpkin and all. Simplicity was a key for this course. Texture was whipped to perfection like I was eating air with hidden gems of walnut pieces to bring you to the crunchy side of things. The dip had a creamy outcome with a whiff of Indian cuisine and a tinge of curry taste. It went pleasantly well with the bite-size house made naan bread.

Pumpkin and all

So this is what it feels like again using top notch fork and spoon. This was the only time I would appreciate and carefully use utensils as I was told by the waiter it costs hundreds and thousands of dollars. I did my Google research and yeah I can confirm I would need insurance if I ever snapped these babies…YIKES!

Them baller cutlery

For our second course we had turnips with fresh milk curd and emu which had a variation of Asian herbal flavours that was topped with a few petite pieces of chicken skin crisps. This dish had a heavy fragrant of turnips and blended so heavenly with the milk curd

Turnips with fresh milk curd and emu

The third dish had arrived in a raw manner that I thought we were eating beetroot but I was fooled by the looks and only discovered closely that the dish had charred seasonal greens and buried underneath raw squid with smoked chicken fat, and fermented Davidson plum as a intriguing sauce. It was fascinating munching on these strings of charred greens as it somehow reminded me eating those packets of Korean seaweed snacks and the noodle like squid played well with the plum dressing.

Raw squid with charred seasonal greens, smoked chicken fat, and fermented Davidson plum

Full speed ahead and VDM train brought us Western Australian marron. The three ingredients ran and swirl so well together, amplifying each other’s flavour of pine mushrooms, macadamia and glued so well with the tender piece of marron sure got my belly squealing for some more, I almost shouted out “ENCORE”.

Western Australian Marron with pine mushrooms and macadamia

Uncovered the Western Australian Marron with pine mushrooms and macadamia

The world is your oyster when our cleansing plate of moonlight flat rusty wire oyster with lemon myrtle had arrived. I was fueled by the tangy, sour and vinegar flavours on my taste buds.

Moonlight flat rusty wire oyster with lemon myrtle

One would weep just to touch the crusty curves of the beer and fennel bread as it was still warm, crunchy and brown. Sitting beside was a rolled up cultured butter that compliments so well with the bread. Ahhh….Breaking Bread.Haha.

Beer and fennel bread with cultured butter

Next up was the Mark Eather kingfish with spanner crab and beach herbs, which I personally wasn’t a fan of due the the acquired taste of the beach herbs that had overtaken the spanner crab. On a happy note I was amazed by the tiny froth bubbles surrounded the greens which seemed like this dish was living on the wild wild side.

Mark Eather Kingfish with spanner crab and beach herbs

By now you can almost hear my expandable dress burst it’s last stretch but the show must go on and we had the bright and beautiful Kohlrabi with Yarra Valley salmon roe and a mountain of marron coral. This was seasoned to savoury perfection and made good friends with the beer and fennel bread.

Kohlrabi with Yarra Valley salmon roe and marron coral

Close-up of Kohlrabi with Yarra Valley salmon roe and marron coral

My eyes fell instantly to the Davidson plum sorbet with sorrel and flowers. It sure was a promising delightful taste. Picking up my silver spoon, I spooned out a dollop of sweet, tangy plum sorbet which was bathed in liquid nitrogen. The pleasant smoothness of the sorbet blended perfectly with the bitter-sweet taste of sorrel and flowers.

Davidson plum sorbet with sorrel and flowers

A unique flavor experience was tasting the raw kangaroo with figs and muntari berries.It wasn’t a typical dish you’d have on the menu but an eye popping experience for your tastebuds. I felt the figs and muntari berries overpowered the chunky cube pieces of kangaroo meat, however it’s a taste you’ll need to try it yourself to explore.

Raw Kangaroo with figs and muntari berries

Just its aroma won me over was the sizzling wallaby snag and how can I not include the part where a chef comes out to greet us and cooks right on our table with a transferrable hot stone pot. We’re big fans of a good sausage (no sexual jokes intended ;P) but have you tried a wallaby snag before?

Wallaby snag with wattleseed damper and condiments

Wattleseed damper being cooked

After all the condiments had arrived at our table and the snags and damper were cooked, we had the opportunity to get our hands dirty and participate in DIY snag roll. And if you’re wondering do we get to eat it? The answer is YESSSSS!!!!

Wallaby snag with wattleseed damper and condiments

It’s hard to dislike this Aussie fusion snag because well…I’m a sucker for theatrical presentation. I was quite intrigued with the flavours of the sausage and the damper bread.

The finished result of a Wallaby snag with wattleseed damper 

It wasn’t long the waitress returned to our table and greeted us with a very sharp knife to let us know the next course was about to arrive. Hmmmmm I wonder what do need this knife for?…

Have you seen this knife holder before?

Most desirable meat dish was the David Blackmore wagyu striploin. Each pain-steakingly selected ingredient contributed to the greatness of the dish. Wagyu melted in my mouth even before I could chew and the marron coral and cabbage puree had me salivating.

David Blackmore wagyu striploin with marron coral and cabbage

And oh did I mention during the entire degustation we had this spectacular 180 degree view of Melbourne CBD. Nothing special…haha.

Melbourne’s CBD Night View

What a way to start the dessert course was the moment a clay pot bursting with flames comes arriving at our table and I knew we’d be served with entertainment. I’ve got my fun goggle cap, have you?

Roasted marshmallows

You just could not go wrong with eating the roasted marshmallow with frozen pear hidden in the center. It tasted naturally sweet and matched so well with the warm fluffy marshmallow cover. The only sticky situation I had was it easily fell apart, but overall I was pleased with the flavours, it was pear-fect.

Roasted marshmallow

A tantalizing treat was the tea tree, mandarian, and desert limes. You cannot go wrong with something tangy towards the end of the degustation as it loosens up the bloated feeling I got after having a non-stop fulfilling meal.

Tea tree, mandarian, and desert limes

In between my desserts I got distracted by another roasted marshmallows but this time filled with cho cho choooc…you guessed it CHOCOLATE.

Roasted marshmallows filled with chocolate

The squiggly chocolate pieces were easy to crack into with my front teeth and the squishy soaked lime sponge cake had a refreshing taste, texture and fragrant of all things citrus.

Tea tree, mandarian, and desert limes

A chocolate treat guaranteed to make any chocolate lover beg for was the chocolate soufflé. You just can’t go wrong with chocolate especially if you are eating it in front of an amazing Melbourne view.

Chocolate soufflé

Couldn’t contain my excitement when the lamington and gumnuts had arrived. Oh I have missed my petite fours and there was no way on Earth I’d share this with anyone else besides me, myself and I. Each velvety bite of the lamington reveals chocolate mousse swirled with fresh raspberry compote.

Lamington and Gumnuts

It was a superb finish with the gumnuts as it was served frozen and it had a powerful minty flavour that was refreshing with every bite. This reminded me of an eclipse after every meal but a classier way to have it. Haha.

Gumnuts

Vud De Monde Lights

For the second time in a row the real star for the evening was when I was being farewelled with a paper bag of goodies called “For the next day”. I couldn’t contain my childish excitement when the waitress tried to explain what she’d be handing out to me at the very end. There’s a reason why this bag is called that because after we had exited the restaurant, we waddled back to the hotel in 9 inch heels. The bag contained freshly tea leaves, two fun-size croissants and muselli, which are all housemade from Vue De Monde.

Overall this was my second visit and again Vue De Monde is a very sophisticated theatrical fine dining restaurant with a sweet little price tag between $250 -$300 per person. Surprisingly this restaurant never ever ever fails to bore me and made me feel like a kid in an adult body. I have yet to visit other similar restaurants like VDM, but in the meantime I’d say it’s still my favourite fine dining place to eat in Melbourne.

“For the next day”

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Made it to Muse Restaurant | Pokolbin

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Having just earned Two Chef Hats recently in this year’s Good Food Guide, Muse Restaurant is the creation of Husband and Wife team Troy and Megan Rhoades Brown. Not only has this Australian Restaurant held onto one chef hat for a consecutive three years, it has also earned catering industry awards five years straight in the Hunter Region.

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Worth the road trip to Muse Restaurant.

Though this award winning restaurant is a bit of a trek since it’s two hours drive out of Sydney to the entrance to Pokolbin in the iconic Hungerford Hill Winery, Muse Restaurant does offer a season driven contemporary Australian menu that is truly unforgettable.

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Glass door entrance to Muse Restaurant.

As with anything labeled “chef hat”, you’d first question the price tag and it’s unimaginable how worthwhile this place is. It’s reasonably worth it at $95 per person considering it’s fine-dining also for three courses. I finally understand why this is repeatedly labeled Hunter Region, and often Australia’s best in Sydney Morning Herald. Arriving 12:25pm and still begging the girls that I want to continue earning my SingStar points in the car for karaoking two hours straight, we safely arrived to our destination all thanks to the Birthday Girl Almighty Princess who turns twenty-one (?). Teehee.

With a view of the green grass and vineyard like no other, I sense a mother nature vibe. It’s the kind of atmosphere where you don’t have to wear fancy outfits and you could just walk in with denim jeans and cow boy leather boots as the the staff understands that you have travelled a long way. We had one of the earliest seatings and when we entered the restaurant it was three quarters packed already.

Muse_Nessy Eater (3)

There seems to be a bit of confusion going around when we noticed the fermented garlic butter. It was soft and squishy. You can clearly tell this butter is rich and complex. At first I thought it was exquisite mustard but when the waitress confirmed we were amused and questioned ourselves how to it eat. But luckily a waitress came over with a basket of hot bread!

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Fermented Garlic Butter

We were offered bread and there were only two options so I picked one of each- light rye sourdough and a very eye-catching swirl of the caramelised onion brioche served extremely warm. These were an excellent carb filler for our tummies.

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Light Rye Sourdough and Caramelised Onion Brioche 

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Cross-section of the caramelised onion brioche

At this point, we received three complimentary canapes, which was a huge surprise for us. We start off with the spiced macaron that is filled with a house made labna. The outer shell is a crunch-tastic delight on the palate with a dust of curry powder to add that little kick to my tastebuds.

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Spiced Macaron

Make no mistake, this tea is quite dense and almost leveled with a soup texture with the aroma of shitake mushroom, lemongrass and ginger. It’s great stuff even for my attitude towards mushrooms that I had before as I was growing up as a kid. I’ve never had liquid served quirky like this before, have you? I giggled sipping this as it instantly reminded me one of those smoking pipes in the UK back in the 1980’s. Like how would I know that…#awkward 😛

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Shitake Mushroom, Lemongrass and Ginger Tea

Rouding out the last of the savoury canapes is the mushroom wafer. It has now become my new favourite vegetable companion to almost anything. The paper thin crunch is most welcome on my plate and generous powered flavour of mushroom is rewarding.

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Mushroom wafer

Other than not having enough of this magnificent savoury wafer, I was intrigued how powerful the flavour was. It was weird trying to bite into the wafer, as it quickly melted on my tongue. I had to make a lot of effort not to look like a clown trying to nom nom nom it.

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Paper thin mushroom wafer

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Lemongrass stuck inside the sipping tunnel.

Not long after our first course arrived. Almighty Princess was served a theatrical dish, sashimi of hiramasa kingfish served with fennel, apple, Muse’s very own verjuice and liquid nitrogen Coppersfolly wasabi yoghurt. OMGEEEEE! There’s LIQUID NITROGEN in this dish.

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Sashimi of Hiramasa Kingfish

My only issue was that I didn’t order this for myself, however Almighty Princess was kind enough to give away a few tiny pieces for me taste and provide a verdict. Oh, I don’t mind welcoming the thick slices of kingfish and the refreshing taste of fennel, apple and verjuice again. And of course the wasabi yoghurt involved some sort of crazy taste.

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How does this taste?

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Portion size for entree is ridiculously generous.

For Miss S. the cuttlefish and king brown mushroom ‘noodles’ suitably impresses a lively gothic look, with the dark cuttlefish crackle, and deliciously soft and delicate ‘noodle’. Miss S. and I were 110% fooled by the menu name ‘noodles’. Sweetness is induced by the fresh herbs which acts as a balancer.

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Cuttlefish and King Brown Mushroom ‘Noodles’ 

As for me and Billy, we both couldn’t resist the confit of berkshire pork jowl – presented with smoked mussels, pickled cauliflower, black garlic and buttermilk. This was quite a heavy dish considering it to be entree. The fat slice of pork jowl was at the right level of saltiness and creaminess, with a perfectly tender meat throughout.

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Confit of Berkshire Pork Jowl

So far the dishes at Muse have unconditionally pleased us four girls. Next a waiter serves us the palate cleanser that contains an apple sorbet served on a rhubarb jelly and shiso. I can confidently say this was nice and breeze on the palate.

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Palate Cleanser

I’m always a sucker for fish and the confit petuna ocean trout did not disappoint. Muse shared another sensational dish and it was clearly noticeable because the girls enjoyed licking their plates clean. The trout is gently cooked to retain its bright orange colour and soft silky texture. To finish a bed of seaweed risotto with pickled daikon and broccolini perfectly marries all the ingredients together.

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Confit Petuna Ocean Trout

A meatier choice is the milly hill lamb. It is the classic red meat dish and pleasantly ‘served pink’. Aside is salt baked sweet potato, cultured goats milk, lentils and garden herbs. I had to make a lot of effort sawing each piece of lamb but that didn’t matter because the result of the texture is a level of softness that beyond what I have eaten for a very long time when it comes to lamb.

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Milly Hill Lamb 

The signature dessert is what us four girls came here for, isn’t it? For those who don’t actually know what the fuss is, the “Muse Coconut” is a dessert of legend at Muse Restaurant, one of its jaw-dropping desserts and it’s OUT OF THIS WORLD! If ever there is a moment of silence at the table, this is the reason for it. The thin edible coconut husk is made of dark chocolate and is sitting in a bed of raw shaved coconut. Inside, you have to witness yourself this coconut cloud mousse as light as air, filled with vanilla bean and coconut thick water.

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Muse Coconut

To eat, you must tap it with power ranger force to crack open the husk, revealing the liquid water, and the fun really begins by stirring  it all together to eat. This textural and flavour sensation elicits memories of a real coconut, but BETTER. There is NO BORING BITS in this dish!

This dessert blew its way onto everyone’s radar and it’s the BEST COCONUT DESSERT tasted to date. Raise my wine glass to the chefs who have to make many of these on a daily basis.

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Under the coconut tree you dance with me.

When you think dessert is over and then comes house made chocolates filled with a malt custard. The sweetness of the chocolate, balanced out by the creaminess of the custard is essentially perfect.

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Petit fours

It is incredible Muse Restaurant provides such exquisite dishes that I think the confit petuna ocean trout and Muse coconut has already secured a special place in my heart. It’s TOP NOTCH STUFF! It is clearly evident the chef’s devotion to each dish is an eye-opening display of the finest technique. Oh it really gives some city fine diners a run for their money.

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There’s definitely a Hunter Region feel at Muse Restaurant.

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Muse Restaurant and Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Public Dining Room- Balmoral Beach

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Nothing beats a waterfront view on lovely sunny day. I drove to Balmoral Beach one weekday and dined at Public Dining Room. Considering it’s location and view we scored ourselves a spectacular window-side table facing the beach. This was a pretty good deal if you don’t mind me rubbing it in. Teehee. I noticed some people brushed off the sand on their feet and waked in to the restaurant. Talk about casual beach feel that makes me feel right at home already. There is one thing you shouldn’t expect at this restaurant and that’s fish and chips. Public Dining Room is not only popular for its location but also their presentation in their fancy meals.

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (1)Fancy lunch time

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (1B)Public Dining Room

I always get excited when FREE rye sourdough arrives at our table. With a thick square of creamy super soft butter and a little bowl of sea salt for the table to share.

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (2)Complimentary slice of soft rye bread

Those fat juicy seared scallops ($26) were so fresh that they could have still swam. Teehee. They were seriously tender and lovingly plated with the crisp jamon serrano, pea puree and goats curd. Take one mouthful and you’d be quickly convinced to have another. For the delicate pea puree it wasn’t overwhelmingly rich and was a perfect match with the paper thin salty jamon serrano.

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (3)Fat juicy scallops come to Mama!

It took us a while to nibble through the duck terrine ($22) with house made fig chutney, watercress and foie gras. The generous slices of crostini was very helpful to balance out the overwhelming flavour of the terrine and added a crisp texture. I found this dish to be a very interesting presentation and reminded me of a forest. Mother nature was calling me to eat this forest!

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (4)What the duck? It’s Terrine.

Mocktail ($10) arrives looking all fabulous and coral pink. With a mix of pineappleapplecranberry and a squeeze of fresh lime. I think the lemon does lift and lighten the beverage.

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (5)Mocktail ($10)

A unique flavor experience was the fried zucchini flowers ($24) that came fresh from the fryer with stuffed ricotta, parmesan, papillon roquefort that was deliciously gooey and soft. The celeriac and cabbage remoulade with the sprinkles of pangrattato was equally impressive and seasoned to perfection.

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (6)Fried zucchini flowers ($24)

Crispy Pork belly ($26) was my favourite dish, the porky skin was so crisp that they were quickly munched down for an extreme hit of pork flavour. To accompany the meat we had generous dollops of apple sauce. Slices of apple, strands of savoy cabbage and woodland sorrel to decorate made this dish look super healthy. Close enough!

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (7)Pork calling!

Bursting with intense flavours and alluring aromas was the Tasmanian pasture fed eye fillet ($46) – The most tender of all steaks must be paired well with the massive pieces of king brown mushroom, roasted globe artichoke, mustard cress and a drizzle of brown onion jus. I could taste the long-lasting flavours of the eye fillet and mushrooms. The steak was lightly greased and it was all so very good.

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (8)I’m eyeing on you fillet.

Do I need to mention to you how tender the steak was? That thick juicy piece of meat may as well have been made out of butter. Hmmm medium rare is just the way I like it.

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (9)Eye-eye Captain Fillet.

Would you believe this is the view from our table? The atmosphere was so peaceful and relaxing at the same time. It felt like a get-away. If you enjoy this view then I totes recommend you to ask the staff to be seated next to the window.

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (10)What a Beach! Balmoral Beach

You’ll die and go to heaven with every bite of the Valrhona chocolate textures ($19). Decadently rich in chocolate with the bitterness of dark chocolate, the texture remains deliciously light and creamy. It’s the type of dessert you savour slowly with a glass of cold milk or tea or coffee as the intensity of chocolatey madness slowly builds on your palate.

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (11)You deserve this Valrhona chocolate textures ($19)

Meet and greet this chocolate bar with your fork. The crushed hazelnut pieces were incredibly tasty along with the smooth chocolate sensation. I’m GUILTY of eating this.

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (12)So many pretty textures in this Valrhona chocolate

If you’re looking for a tasty fruity dessert, try this sensational Mango and lychee bombe alaska ($18). The toasted meringue was heavily contained with a coconut crumble base and secured by green mango droplets . This beautiful merinague tastes as great as it looks, so fluffy and airy. I give this a gold medal for presentation of because if you look closely, you’d see it’s handcrafted with swirls.

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (13)Mango and lychee bombe alaska ($18)

I’m sure my teeth were hurting from all the sugar goodness, especially this was our second dessert, but that didn’t stop me from devouring this precious dessert. My teeth felt so spoilt with the hidden ice-cream in the center. Each bite delights with sweet mango…hmmm refreshing. I am so pumped to have another bombe alaska right now.

With a lovely view and heart-warming service, Public Dining Room is a real highlight for a fancy lunch and or romantic dinner. If you’re super eager to check out the beach make sure you bring swimmers along because I heard it’s great to visit on a perfect Sydney beach day.

Public Dining Room_Nessy Eater (14)You’re the BOMBE!

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Appointment with ARIA, Sydney

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In Sydney I believe the perfect lunch is including a spectacular view. So I did a little research and TA DA I was on my way to ARIA. For lunch I believe Matt Moran and his team has created very elegant dishes to match the atmosphere. One thing I already liked about this restaurant is the fact it’s a set price menu for example $46 for one course, $74 for two course and $89 for three courses. Off course I went all out and decided to choose THREE COURSE!

Aria_Nessy Eater (1)

An intense and fruity little appetiser of fresh fig purée tart hits the table first, tasting sweet and gorgeously presented. There was a distinctively sharp taste of goat’s curd and my taste buds on the tongue could also detect the buttery flavour coming from the tart shell itself. I loved the crumbly biscuit from the tart base, it almost had a pie crust texture, ALMOST.

Aria_Nessy Eater (2)Goat’s Curd and Fig Purée tart

Soon after our delicious start, a lovely waiter walks to our table and offers a selection of the highest quality breads matched with seaweed and original butter. I opted for a warm thick slice of sourdough containing walnuts. Let me tell you I felt 100% guilty enjoying the whole slice of sourdough alone with a few smears of seaweed butter. The edges of the bread was indeed solid like a rock and as for the the spongy middle section it offered a tangy taste that can vary form barely perceptible to slightly sour. As for the seaweed butter, MY GOODNESS I have never encountered such a meeting like this before. It’s not your classic butter you have at home, it’s TOP NOTCH BUTTER that delivers a divine sweet yet salty, mellow flavour that is absolutely delicious with any selection of breads you prefer.

Aria_Nessy Eater (3)Sour Dough matched with Seaweed and Original Butter

By now we were starting to suffer the effects of butter madness and we had to quickly forget about it and move onto our first course. These beautiful shelled pacific oysters was disturbingly presented well like a little “nihon teien” translate to Japanese-style garden with the ice plants looking similar to moss garden, oysters looking similar to rocks and the blackberries reminded me of bushes. The raw oysters were meaty, strong flavoured and had a silky fresh plumpness to it. That oyster juice with the blend of the other ingredients on the plate was precious and tasted insanely good that it was unacceptable to rinse it off.

Aria_Nessy Eater (4)Shelled Pacific Oysters

Another option from the first course also included the pressed rabbit and chorizo terrine with romesco sauce and a piece of focaccia. This dish was absolutely interesting because rabbits are not usually on the menu so fancy lunch indeed. The terrine had a summer theme to it with the colours and garnish. I was impressed by the texture as it provided a jello feel to it with the added chunks of meat and spice from the chorizo which left a meaty package into my mouth.

Aria_Nessy Eater (5)Pressed Rabbit and Chorizo Terrine

Aria_Nessy Eater (6)Side view is always better 😛

For the FRIED focaccia it left me speechless!!! It was nice, soft and crispy in the first bite that I couldn’t control myself having the whole darn thing. OH DEAR! I don’t think I can stick to “sharing is caring”. Teehee.

Aria_Nessy Eater (7)Have you tried Deep Fried Focaccia before?

I was lucky enough to catch a steamed bass grouper on my plate with spanner crabCoorong pipis and smoked dulse. The snow white fillet was incredibly smooth with large flakes and it was tender, moist and had a mild flavour to it. The texture and consistency are similar to a swordfish. The creamy dressing and fish complimented each other because I had a cheeky grin after devouring this. 

Aria_Nessy Eater (8)Steamed Bass Grouper

Another main dish you MUST order is ARIA’s roasted holmbrae duck breasts with golden beetrootselderflower and chamomile. I went BALLISTIC having my very first bite. I went cray cray when the duck vanished into thin air. At the time of the disappearance of the duck I wished I could be a super slower eater because that duck was DUCKING GOOD, excuse the language.

Aria_Nessy Eater (9)Roasted Holmbrae Duck

What made it extremely a highlighting dish was not only the rich, strong flavour of the duck and the elderflower and not so the chamomile but it was the glossy golden layer atop of the duck which appeared to be a long strip sugar coat. It had a crackle noise and sounded like a wonderful orchestra.

Aria_Nessy Eater (10)Just can’t stop sharing inwards shot. 

Aria_Nessy Eater (11)Very lucky to sit window seat and it’s Sydney Harbour Bridge, well half of it. 

Moving onto DESSERTS but the only problem for us was deciding on which one to fulfil our dessert stomach’s cravings. Being indecisive our helpful waiter suggested the very popular mango and passionfruit soufflé. After a 20 minute wait ta-da the soufflé appears at our table looking all seductive with a scoop of roasted rice ice-cream and dusted icing. Look at that signature height of the soufflé, it was unbelievably 4-5cms tall. The dessert is served hot and oozing with goodness.

Aria_Nessy Eater (12)Mango and Passionfruit Soufflé

DEATH BY CHOCOLATE was the valrhona chocolate ganache– It was certainly eye catching to the point it could be displayed at a art gallery or maybe a museum. It was a very sophisticated dessert with cherries, cherry sorbet, warm chocolate doughnuts and hazelnut. I was seriously and I mean SERIOUSLY HYPNOTISED by the many many looks of this dessert.

Aria_Nessy Eater (13)Valrhona Chocolate Ganache

From a side angle it feels like this must be a new dessert. The valrhona chocolate ganache was super rich and smooth to the point I could just lick the extras on the plate. Cherries and cherry sorbet married so well together that their wasn’t a hint of sourness. As for the chocolate doughnuts and hazelnut I lost my sh!ts. Teehee.

Aria_Nessy Eater (16)It’s too pretty to eat this!!! BUT Oh well…nom nom nom

Aria_Nessy Eater (18)Smashed the dessert into pieces… 😀

WAIT there’s MORE DESSERT!!! What…more dessert? YES MORE DESSERT. Does this get any better?!?!

By now I felt like I was about to give birth to a food baby. The waiter walks straight towards our table with this gorgeously presented petit fours that I couldn’t decline such an opportunity to stuff my face with sweets. They were only a bite-size…

Aria_Nessy Eater (19)Complimentary Petit Fours (Normally $9.50 with tea or coffee)

Aria_Nessy Eater (20)Just one more bite…

After an indulgent lunch you may want to act like a tourist and take a glimpse of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. It would be wrong not to walk around.

Aria_Nessy Eater (22)Needed to stretch my legs after a luxury lunch experience at ARIA.

ARIA is certainly a luxurious lunch and so it does require you to put a side some time for you to really enjoy it. For $89 for 3 course I certainly loved each dish as I can really see the effort they put in with presentation and flavour. Goodness I can’t stop thinking about the dessert. Make sure when you book to request for WINDOW SEAT, you won’t be disappointed. Overall I give this place a two thumbs up. I look forward to returning and testing their degustation at night.

Aria_Nessy Eater (21)See you again ARIA’s. 

Photos by Vanny Tang

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