Food Blogger

Long Luxurious Night at La Grillade Crows Nest

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Tucked away behind the Lower North Shore terrace, La Grillade has been the gourmet retreat for the social set and often the romantic dinner spot. This iconic venue is operated by husband and wife team, George and Ann. You may be familiar with this couple at The Little Snail  where French style cooking combined with friendly service meets personality and charm for each table.

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Such a cosy restaurant at La Grillade

Dining at La Grillade you will expect food as being exotic and sophisticated at realistic prices. For instance we opted for a set priced menu at $63 for 3 courses (for an entrée, main and dessert) with the full a la carte menu to choose from including snails and prime steaks, which are a key feature of La Grillade’s menu. But if you fancy something a little more meatier than it is your mission to order the 14 hrs slow cooked lamb shoulder for two (additional $20).

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What’s on the menu?

For entrée I was happily digging in to the platter of garlic-drenched escargots. The snails in the shell came in one dozen and sizzled in garlic parsley butter that may have overpowered the the red wine. My personal recommendation is to also order a few slices of plain bread so you can watch the puddle of butter and bread marry together like a edible sponge.

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Snails in the shell

I was busted for taking a small scoop of someone’s duck liver pate that contained green peppercorns, port jelly and croutons. That teeny tiny bowl of pate had us glancing at each other. Port jelly was one of my absolute favourite things. The flavours was sweet and very aromatic with red wine. As for the pate it was super SUPER SMOOTH.

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Duck Liver Pate 

If you are not so keen to ordering a duck liver pate then perhaps the rillettes of pork is an option. Traditional rillettes of pork with a hint of orange and tarragon fell far short of doing the generous quantity. The rillette was tasty and it was stuffed with a lot of shredded pork meat and cooked slowly in fat until it was tender enough to be easily served to form a paste.

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Rillettes of Pork

I thought I’d have issues with this entree but it was alllll good with the a generous portion of crispy pieces of croutons to balance it off the taste of pork love making in my mouth.

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Our starter wasn’t complete till we chosen the golden fried calamari which came with chilli, salt and pepper with garlic aioli. I love the calamari’s strong flavour and utterly unique texture; it’s nice and meaty but soft in the center, and when the coating is lightly fried, it is utter perfection on a plate.

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Golden Fried Calamari

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Love the setting at La Grillade

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True French style courtyard dining

Moving on to mains came this sexy ENORMOUS piece of lamb shoulder (for two) (additional $20 for set priced menu) that’s been slow-cooked for 14 hrs straight. It looked like a GIGANTIC slab of meaty goodness, just sprinkled with deliciousness from the crispy herb bits which then drowned in the Junee’s finest lamb sauce. It may look small in the photo but oh boy was it filling for three dinosaur stomachs. If you are not in a rush and want to spend the final minutes with this shoulder then now is the time to order a glass of red to accommodate this dish. A lovely falling-off-the-bone moment was witnessed and for the taste and texture it developed a deep, rich flavour that melts in the mouth.

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14 hrs Slow-cooked Lamb Shoulder (for two) 

And because we love meat so much it is very important to decorate your main with some glossy steamed vegetables that has been generously tossed with olive oil.

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Steamed Vegetables

Say goodbye to boring duck breast because the one in La Grillade was pretty damn tasty as it has been twice cooked and decorated with pink flesh then glazed with sweet and sour cherries. The duck breast wasn’t a challenge to eat as I believe it’s the meatiest and best eating part of the duck. Okay…there may be some signs that these breasts were dry, but that didn’t stop me! This dish was easily finished because of the sauce, delicately sweet.

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Duck breast

To complement any meaty mains we ordered the creamed potato ($8). The texture was mild, thick and creamy, and this was a pleasant change from vegetables. There was no river of gravy in sight but I totally approve how delicious this was because none of us wanted to share.

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Creamed Potato ($8)

The rib eye (400gm) was just so mindblowingly good here that it was only right to have it cooked to medium rare. You can tell this slab of prime beef, dry aged was lightly smoked and grilled. It was seductive to see the pool of beef juice and served with Paris butter and veal glaze. There was so much tenderness in this beef that I managed to sneak a few more slices back to my own plate. Oh that evil grin begins!

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Rib Eye (400gm)

Can you handle dessert after all the above?! Well YES FOR ME. We chosen the baked lemon cheesecake because we saw the word “cake” at the end of cheesecake. Teehee. I must say this was a very ordinary dessert, nothing that fancy my pants other than the slight sour lemon flavour and silky smooth texture of the cheese.

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Baked Lemon Cheesecake

If you can’t handle a super heavy dessert then the coffee profiteroles Kahlua anglaise would be a good pick, which are stuffed full of sweet coffee creme covered in a profiteroles patissière and are placed over a small pond of mild Kahlua sauce.

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Coffee Profiteroles Kahluaanglaise

We weren’t going to leave a French restaurant without having the crème brulee. Although for some reason, a bowl of custard isn’t seen as an appropriate dessert for a grown adult, but stabbing our way through a perfect golden sugary layer and into the smooth custard can be an excuse to having this.

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Crème Brulee

Can you see how this decadent dessert is with the vanilla custard and tops it with a layer of crisp caramelized sugar…Hmmm I feel fat.

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That brulee…

By now I’ve reached exploding point and it felt like I was ready to roll out of here, but first let me just finish our last dessert- rich chocolate mousse. It was a perfectly fine mousse even though it wasn’t anything super special. Not only did it manage to convey both indulgence and comfort it was a heaven in a dish for all you chocolate fans out there.

Well I was feeling a tad heavier than I was before I visited La Grillade. Best to go for the set menu as I feel it’s more worth it when you calculate in your mind the original price for each dish. I will definitely come back for dinner again an try my luck on the rest of the menu.

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Rich Chocolate Mousse

Photos by Vanny Tang

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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!

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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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Swissotel Sydney Christmas Afternoon Tea Buffet

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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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (1)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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (2)Christmas pudding

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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (5)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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (6)Blackberry pavlova

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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (7)Eggnog shots

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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (8)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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (9)Strawberry 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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (10)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!

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (11)Chocolate fountain

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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (12)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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (13)Blueberry panna cotta

With our voucher package, we were treated with selections of tea or coffee. All teas are from T2.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (14)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!

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (15)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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (3)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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (4)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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (16)Bitesize baguette

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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (17)Christmas profiteroles

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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (18)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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (19)Christmas macarons

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.

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (20)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…

Swissotel Xmas HT_Nessy Eater (21)Top view of spring berry tart

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Black Betty at The Oxford Tavern- MONSTROUS Meat Feast

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You know the day is still young at the Oxford Tavern because everyone has got their clothes on. It’s very un-sleazy here at Black Betty as they have been firing up an American-style barbecue of smoked juicy meats as well as Australian classics. If you’re a meat freak like me then you can expect the menu to include brisket, pulled pork, sausages and other BBQ offerings.

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 Monstrous Meat Platter at The Oxford Tavern

You’d appreciate the BBQ menu on weekends, with their outdoor custom-made American meat smoker. The meats are cooked overnight for approximately 18 hours and ready to be seduced from midday the following day.

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BBQ Smoker

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Awesome painted walls

The lust is in the air when you discover the menu. I think I’ve just found the perfect BBQ joint to warm cold winter weekends.

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 I want to try a bit of everything!

You won’t go hungry here at Black Betty because there’s just too many meaty goodness waiting for you. I’m sure the Drink N Dine Executive Chef Jamie Thomas can help you out.

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 Executive Chef Jamie Thomas

My inner freak came out when I saw this this THIS…GIGANITIC BEEF BRISKET! *Heavy Breathing*…*HEAVY BREATHING*

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 Drum rolls please for the beef brisket entrance.

Majority of the meats are weighted and sold by the 100gram, so don’t expect the numbers to be exactly 100grams.

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Ready to be weighed?

Oh! Look at this bad boy…just laying there and looking so seductive. I just want to nom nom nom you all up!

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 *Faints* Such a beautiful view

So much sexual attention is given to this MEAT PLATTER. Where on Earth should I begin? The platter contained a mix of EVERYTHING including snag, ribs, brisket and pulled pork with BONUS side of a bun and slaw. The cost of this platter was about $50 for two people. You can eat with 2-3 people but I suggest go for it yourself, if you dare.

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  Monstrous Meat Platter ready to be undressed.

If you love Smoked Pork Snag ($7) then get involved. This is heavenly delicious with a nice amount of fattiness in the centre and teensy weensy amount of spiciness. It really kicks up the flavours of pork that is smoked.

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 Smoked Pork Snag ($7)

You’d be a sucker for the Lamb Ribs ($6 per 100 grams)– These ribs are surprisingly meaty and marinated to perfection. Pretty incredible flavours that your tastebuds will be ready for. Just look at that beauty!

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 Lamb Ribs ($6 per 100 grams)

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 FREE BUN

It’s nice to meat ya Pulled Pork ($6 per 100 grams)-There is plenty of taste in this shredded pork and is seriously rewarding if you dress it up with the bun, however it’s sad to say it was a tad dry. It’s ok, I guess you can serve it with a thick, tangy sauce.

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 Pulled Pork ($6 per 100 grams)

I need you darling Pork rib ($7 per 100 grams) although these are not melt in your mouth rack of ribs, but they are quite a treat if you squirt some barbeque sauce on top.

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 Pork rib ($7 per 100 grams)

Can you feel the Beef Brisket ($8 per 100 grams) slowly getting to your nerves? With amazingly smokey taste, it’s a forgiven wonderful cut of beef. The meat doesn’t reach the wow factor of melt in the mouth like Papi Chulo’s, however it’s a winner with anyone who loves a bold rich beef brisket in this style.

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 Beef Brisket ($8 per 100 grams)

Lashing onto you BBQ Pork ($8 per 100 grams) – This immediately reminded me of Chinese BBQ Pork. It smelt divine and this brisket promises something fresh and tasty. Pretty much heaven if you have it with the slaw.

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BBQ Pok ($8 per 100 grams)

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 Out of my mind that I want dessert!

There’s some pretty interesting quirks on the dessert section of the menu. Mr Clark Kent and I couldn’t resist to order the Deep Fried Golden Gaytime ($9) with 100 and 1000’s. It’s so wrong yet so right, however Mr Kent and I both agree it didn’t meet its perquisites. Shockingly it turned out soggy for both our golden gaytime’s. Somewhere out there a unicorn just shed a few tears.

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 Deep Fried Golden Gaytime ($9)

There’s a number of characteristics in this MONSTER DESSERT, The Jelly Wrestle ($20). The waitress each gave us a pair of rubber gloves. It is not for the faint-hearted that no cutlery is allowed. Oh so bad oh so good! Slowly the giant plastic golden platter piled with huge scoops of vanilla ice-cream, red and green and blue jelly, toasted waffles, candied popcorn, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, raspberry syrup, chocolate syrup and sprinkles of fairy godmothers rainbow. Not to mention lots and lots of cherries (we count at least six). It was fun and we enjoyed it regardless of how stuffed we were.

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 The Jelly Wrestle ($20)

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 No cutlery allowed for Jelly Wrestle. Let me pretend to be a surgical doctor, call me Dr. Eater! 

Black Betty’s selection of BBQ meats will satisfy even the greatest carnivorous cravings. The décor’s and space is amazing. It’s not hard to find the Oxford Tavern as it is located in the corner or find the police station across the road. It’s winter in Sydney, so you have to indulge in all that irresistibly moutherwatering meaty goodness!

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 Seductive sign

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Maybe this is more seductive then the topless girls. 😀

Photos by Vanny Tang

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