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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Onyx Lounge- Newtown Stations Secret Cocktail Life

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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.

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 You can easily spot Onyx with this sign.

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 Speechless when I first walked in.

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 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.

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 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.

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 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.

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 Quesadilla Chicken ($14)

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 That close-up!

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.

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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.

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 Deep Fried Tasmanian Heritage Brie ($10)

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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.

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 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.

Onyx (11) Nessy Eater

 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.

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 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.

Onyx (13) Nessy Eater

 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.

Onyx (14) Nessy Eater

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.

Onyx (4) Nessy Eater

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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Sweet Street by Anna Polyviou at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

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In Sydney, dessert playgrounds can be hard to find at night. Luckily last Wednesday, Shangri-La Hotel’s executive pastry chef Anna Polyviou gave over 500 hundred sugared up guest the opportunity to discover sweets like never before. It was one funky dessert pop-up event located right inside the five-star luxury hotel, Shangri-La Sydney’s Grand Ballroom. We were treated to street-market style set up with disco lighting and a DJ playing night-club music throughout the evening.

Sweet Street (1)

For $55 per ticket which includes 10 tokens and the opportunity to go hard out for all things sweet, I’d say it’s surprisingly worth it! Dedication to sweets is a serious matter and what makes this event so Willy Wonka like is inviting friends along. Special guests like the unconquerable Adriano Zumbo, Tim Clark from CacaoKirsten Tibballs from Savour SchoolBernard Chu and Yen Yee from Melbourne’s LuxBite and off course Shangri-La hotel’s pastry star, Anna Polyviou.

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What’s your favourite Zumbaron flavour? Adriano Zumbo stall.

Sweet Street event showcased the best treats and in between our splendid sweet-tooth madness, prizes from KitchenAid and dance competition was all happening under the one roof.

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Scrumdiddilyumpshus Éclairs from Cacao Lab Tim Clark 

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Just before the show starts, it’s family portrait time with the Asians N2 Extreme Gelato X LuxBite

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Selfie time with the BOSSES from N2 Extrem Gelato and LuxBite before the event. No biggie!!! 

Heaven for lovers of chocolate, this extraordinary handmade chocolate garden is completely edible. Unfortunately Kirsten Tibballs display wasn’t for us to eat. However to accommodate, she was selling one stunning chocolate goodie bag for 1 token a bag.

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Gigantic chocolate mushroom from Savour School

Chocolates and painted butterflies that’s also edible is the perfect gift combination to win my heart. This has got to be one of the delicious Chocolate Dessert Garden for your next dinner party that will leave your guests awe-struck. If only I knew how to grow and maintain my own chocolate garden.

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 Mother nature has turned into CHOCOLATE!!! – Savour School

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A bag of awesome chocolate treats from Savour School (1 token) 

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Let’s see what Anna Polyviou stall has got for us hungry sweet tooth.

Anna’s Taste Test Donut was inspired by Sydney’s Hartsyard chef Andy Bowdy to create a CRAZY doughnut-flavoured ice cream. I think this may be the next trend for Sydney.

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 Doesn’t this remind you of The Simpsons cartoon donut?

I can never ever get past the Passionfruit Posset with seasonal tropical fruit compote-garnished with mango pearls. An incredibly refreshing fruity treat! Served in a petite cylinder cup. For a moment your mind may wander off to a tropical island as the pearls offer a nice burst of mango flavour.

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 Passionfruit posset and tropical fruit (1 token)

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Donuts get in ma belly!!!

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Berries and vanilla panna cotta (1 token) 

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Bar tender from Blu Bar on 36 cocktail bar

For the people who fancied a nice adult beverage,  Blu Bar on 36 cocktail bar offered only one type of cocktail-Spydah. It included tonka bean infused with rum, banana liquor, ginger beer and a scoop of ice-cream. The cocktail name sort of makes our skin crawl, but you’ll feel pretty festive after downing it.

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 Spydah (2 tokens)

Savoury option for the night was supplied by Shangri-La and that too was another corner no one missed out on. My favourite was the Shredded pork salad as the meat was supreme in taste and it was so freaken tender.

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Don’t go pigging out tonight, ok? *Oink*
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Shredded pork salad (1 token)

There is always a reason why Anna decided to abduct the lolly bag man from his Luxbite pastry lab in Melbourne. You’re properly wondering why? [Please continue reading…]

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 Concentration is the key to making eye-popping ice-creams at N2 Extreme Gelato.

So I’ll get straight to it and say the LIMITED EDITION ‘lollybag burger‘-chocolate brioche buns that was held together by an ENORMOUS scoop of lemon gelato plus a ganache, made from melted Redskin candies, in place of a the ordinary ‘tomato sauce’. From the top 100 & 1000s charcoal brioche bun with confit lemon popping candy, musk whipped creammandarin and eucalyptus gelatofreckles spread and served with a syringe full of injectable liquefied redskin candies.

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 Limited edition: Lolly Bag Burger (2 tokens)

Nitrogen frozen gelato was also on offer with Ferrero Rocher that contained chocolate coated rice bubbles, chocolate and hazelnut gelatohazelnuts and just for the stack of it why not serve it with a syringe full of injectable melted chocolate.

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 Ferrero Reveal (1 token)

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 Min Chuan Chai from N2 Extreme Gelato

Just right next door to N2 Extreme Gelato, Bernard Chu and Yen Yee of Lux Bite Melbourne decided to tart things up. This stall showcase new flavours such as lavender, blueberry and vanilla and tarts. All tarts were SOLD OUT before 8:10pm and I was extremely happy I somehow managed to sample all three flavours.

Endless Love is LuxBite’s popular dessert, inspired by Pierre Hermes Ispahan. This tart includes rose and lychee ganache filled, topped with fresh raspberries and silver to garnish. Next, Sood Tee Ruk is a happy ending…that Luxbite are giving lemon meringue tart a Thai twist. This tart includes Kalamansi lime curd with jackfruit, longan, chilli, salt, meringue, kaffir lime sherbet.

For the final tart, we had blueberry tart that’s filled with Heilala vanilla rice pudding and hazelnut praline cream, topped with fresh blueberries and chunks of hazelnut.

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 Assortment of tarts from LuxBite.

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 Great catching up with my Melbourne friends Bernard and Yen at LuxBite.

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Spicy Lamb and Beef skewers (1 token each)

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Papaya salad  (1 token)

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  Pork salad (1 token)

Sweet as! The Éclairs from Cacao Lab were rendered in new ways, including Hot Choc Dog and deep-frying. Starting from left to right we have:

Caipirinha-Tangy lime creme with brown sugar smash and Cachaca boost

Hot Choc Dog containing Chocolate mousse, raspberry gel and say whaat? grated ‘chocolate’ cheese.

 Pop Choc with 66% dark chocolatepop rocks and rice puffs

Salted Caramel

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Éclairs from Cacao Lab – Tim Clark (1 token each)

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 Delicate eclairs in the deep-fried coconut version.

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Caipirinha-Tangy lime creme with brown sugar smash and Cachaca boost (1 token)

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Hot Choc Dog Éclair  (1 token)

Move over soft serve because Anna’s parfait yoghurt with a chunky centre is the NEW THING. Yoghurt ice-cream has never looked so pretty before, until now. It’s only appropriate to eat this whilst watching TV. This finger-licking parfait ice-cream yoghurt attached on a wooden popsicle stick topped with crunchy caramel popcorn. A splendid way to bring the Sweet Street to an end.

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Mag-Anna’s  Salted Caramel Popcorn (1 token)

The Strawberry Yoghurt was an absolutely sinful ice-cream. I was really fascinated with how adorable this yoghurt was. In my opinion a sensational rollicking dessert!

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Mag-Anna’s Strawberry Yoghurt  (1 token)

Dedicated to only serve sweets, Anna has been recongnised for her skills in the pastry kitchen. She is the brainchild behind Sweet Street and is one of the founders of the Sydney Pastry Chef Club. Together with Adriano Zumbo, Min Chuan Chai of N2 Nitrogen Gelato, Bernard Chu and Yen Yee of Lux Bite, Tim Clark of Cacao Lab, and Kirsten Tibballs of Savour Chocolate and Patisserie, they are unstoppable. This event is basically your ideal childhood birthday party for all the GROWN UPS.

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 Anna and friends at Sweet Street.

Photos by Vanny Tang

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

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Lost the plot at Cuckoo Callay, Newtown Station

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From the moment you pass the exit gate of Newtown Station, you’d easily spot a café filled with people seated outside to gain some vitamin D whilst having lunch or commuters stop by in front of a glass window and placing their orders for a hot-brewed coffee. In a neighbourhood that welcomes the hippest of brunch spots, Cuckoo Callay provides a quirky take to their menus. With many commuters travelling to and from to Newtown, you’d assume this intimate sized café only offer coffee and cakes. Don’t judge a book by its cover kids! The café will have your cravings covered with all sorts of decadent foods.

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 Are you ready?

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 Love this quote! Nothing is boring at Cuckoo Callay.

As you enter this café, the décor is enough to get your head spinning, in a good way off course. This is because owners Ella and Ibriham wanted something eccentric with cuckoo clocks glued on mirrored walls and an enormous golden metal ring spiking light bulbs to add a twist to the reflection. Don’t feel daunted if their interior decoration is too much for you, the staff’s so sweet they’ll give you a toothache.

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 Mirror mirror on the wall

If anybody knows how to entertain a table, it’s certainly Cuckoo Callay with heritage details.

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 It’s the little things that count!

Reading Nutella Thick Shake ($7) on their menu got me excited to order. Almighty Princess made an interesting point that it provides an aromatic hazelnut flavour with an unforgettable heavenly creamy finish. Though I have to point out, it didn’t reach the thick texture level, however that didn’t matter because you’d be too busy feeding your inner child.

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You know you want the Nutella Thick Shake ($7)

Get out your phone and open up Instagram to #Hashtag Brown with House Cured Salmon ($17). An old-fashioned favourite that has been modernised by finely cutting the crispy potato hash brown and adding a poached egg with a pool of pea puree. With no trouble, this dish can easily be turned into a vegetarian favourite if you switch the cured salmon with grilled haloumi. If you surgically dissect the potato disc with your fork and knife and examine closely, you’d know the Chefs at Cuckoo Callay have done an exceptional job with sticking each strand of potato together.

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 #Hashtag Brown with House Cured Salmon ($17)

With that gooey egg porn atop, it brings the perfect finish to this dish. The slices of house cured salmon is sensational with a flavoursome mix of finely chopped chives and a hint of grated lemon zest. The fragrance of the salmon is so powerful that when it reaches near the nose you’ll relish every slice. The hunt for pea puree is over, though not as smooth as I imaged but the flavour is there alright.

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 Look how finely shredded the hash browns are. 

When Ibriham placed the Callay’s Brekkie Board ($22) on our table, I thought I was hallucinating. This board can seriously feed two people or maybe for one, if your stomach is empty and your extremely hungry and skipped breakfast. I have to tell ya, this is classified a BARGAIN on my list for brunch in Sydney. LOOK AT IT, there’s 8 different ingredients excluding the lemon for $22!!! To me, it looked like an ultimate big breakfast dish waiting for hungry customers to devour it. Personally, it’s a level up to your ordinary big breakfast and I really enjoy every single element on this board. An awesome way to play with your food by mixing and matching the ingredients. For me I recommend cutting the sour dough into halves and go have some fun by turning those naked slices of bread by adding delicious toppings.

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MUST ORDER THIS GUYS!!! Its the Callay’s Brekkie Board ($22) 

Let’s start with rosemary and lamb sausage. An excellent meat-to-fat ratio with an intense flavour of rosemary. This is a gourmet sausage like you’ve never tasted!

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 The rosemary and lamb sausage are looking super cute.

Next you can dress it up with heirloom tomatoes and button mushrooms. The heirloom tomatoes provide a far superior flavour than ordinary tomatoes and drenched olive oil.

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Looking tasty heirloom tomatoes and button mushrooms.

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 Dang the House Cured Salmon is delish!

No way, there’s more! Double smoked ham that’s served cold. It can be such a great center piece to the piece of sour dough as it does make a beautiful presentation. OH, don’t forget to add avocado.

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 Avocado and Double smoked ham

You can’t serve a brekkie board, if there isn’t any egg porn. Cuckoo Callay never forgets this and makes sure you get two. This is RIDICUIOUSLY UNBELIEVABLE! It was extremely funny to watch Almighty Princess watch me demolish this board alone and only leaving breadcrumbs behind. Pretty embarrassing for me but I just wanted to all of that in ma belly. 😀

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 Got to spot drooling… 😛

I honestly couldn’t fit dessert in my stomach and so it was best to take home some sweet treat. The Caramel + Choc Chip Cookie ($4 each) is the perfect addition to your morning coffee. Not overly sweet but manages to tempt the tastebuds with pieces of choc chip is always a delight.

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 Caramel + Choc Chip Cookie ($4 each)

A concoction of Dark choc chip + banana ($4 each) is a sweet symphony. This muffin made from scratch will astonish even the die-hard chocolate lover.

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 Dark choc chip + banana ($4 each)

As I made my way to the counter to pay, Ibriham told me to look up and this lovely themed Alice and Wonderland of Cuckoo Callay was staring at me. This hand drawn piece of art was created by Tim and each character represents a story to it. From the bottom of this drawing, the train represents Newtown Station, a person sitting on the train represents expanding new ideas and rabbits hopping out of the station suggest turning the ideas into reality. Coffee cups that look like building creates a happy zone for coffee lovers and the more you look at this drawing the more things you see.

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 Spot this drawing in Cuckoo Callay

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 What an epic drawing!

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 Love their décor at Cuckoo Callay

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 Owners of Cuckoo Callay Ella and Ibriham

Cuckoo Callay is the most convenient café in Newtown for those who don’t like to walk far. It’s LITERALLY seconds away from Newtown Station, unless you move at a snails pace then maybe it might take you a FULL MINUTE. I can’t wait to return and sample more of their menu and beverages. You MUST ORDER Callay’s Brekkie Board and Nutella Thick Shake because Nessy Eater Girl says so. Overall, I had an amazing experience and you can really see how much effort is placed on their plate. I mean check out the #Hashtag Browns, have you had hash browns like that before? 😀

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What a happy Chef at Cuckoo Callay. 

Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater was invited to Cuckoo Callay, thanks to Ella and Ibriham.

Please note all meals were independently paid for.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment 😀

Cuckoo Callay on Urbanspoon

Taste of Sydney 2014 – Recap

Posted on Updated on

With an enviable line-up of Sydney’s tastiest restaurants on offer, it was a mission to try ALL 60 + dishes, wines, beers and spirits. Well at the time, I thought I was capable of accomplishing this. But with only little time to eat, I had to give up a few things. Taste of Sydney 2014 located at Brazilian Fields, Centennial Park, Sydney had a few sessions a day- either the lunch session from 12-4pm and the dinner session from 5:30-10pm. I picked the night session as I believe that’s were all the fun begins. Before tantalising your taste buds with signature dishes, you must load your Crown Card ($1= 1 Crown). Otherwise you won’t be able to pig out as all restaurants don’t accept cash or credit cards except for some stalls. 

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O-M-GEEEE Media Pass!!!

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Crown Card loaded with Crown Money

My first stop, I decided to redeem my FREE CIDER that Rekorderlig Cider offered to me. It’s not hard to miss this massive tent as shades of red and white really stand out.

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Rekorderlig Cider Tent

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All the Rekorderlig Cider I could ask for!

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Bean bag seating

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Ping pong anyone?

It was a glorious day and having to walk an additional 20 minutes because you couldn’t find parking means you need a drink. A LARGE fruity drink, particularly eyes on the Strawberry & Lime Cider (6-8 Crowns). The cup is half full of ice and to garnish a squeeze of lime makes this beverage even more refreshing.

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Strawberry & Lime Cider

Next stop Dilmah Chef’s Skillery features chefs who bring a unique skill to the table. Flavio Carnevale from Popolo demonstrates his perfection in knife skills. Plus, we had the opportunity to ask burning questions during an intimate Q & A session.

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A range of Dilmah tea flavours

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Martin Dulke telling us some funny jokes.

Did you know Popolo means people? I know right. I learnt something new at Taste of Sydney.

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Flavio Carnevale from Popolo demonstrates his knife skills.

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Tasting Dilmah’s Rose with French Vanilla and Ceylon Spice Chai.

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Free Dilmah Goody Bag

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Freebie from Maille

After chilling with Martin Dulke and Flavio Carnevale, we end up in front of Chow Bar & Eating House, which is a Chinese eats. I ordered Beggar’s Chicken (12 Crowns) that consists of silken lemon tofuvinegar and red peanuts. That chicken was pretty moist, smokey and contained enough spices to go with a bowl of rice.

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Beggar’s Chicken (12 Crowns)

For the Dongpo Veal Rolls (6 Crowns) this contains pickled black fungus and hot mustard. I quite like the fun-size presentation. The roll is best eaten in a hands-on manner and I encourage you to just dive right in.

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Dongpo Veal Rolls (6 Crowns)

These kissable sliced baguette bread smothered in Lurpak butter is incredibly tasty. I may have had seconds and thirds…and so on… 😛

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Sampling Lurpak butter

It was time for me to take a break from food and enter the Bundaberg Truck. It was very intelligent of Bundaberg to place a flashback theme from ancient furnitures to collecting  Bundaberg bottles through the years.

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Bundaberg shaped pistol bottle

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Got to taste the molasses…SUPER SWEET!

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It’s not everyday you see a boat inside a glass bottle.

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More Bundaberg bottle displays. This time the focus is on football players.

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Let’s go back to the historic times.

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Another freebie!

When it comes to olives, be sure to visit Salt Meats Cheese. I was surprisingly hooked on all their olives. And there’s plenty more where they came from. This is no ordinary olives, as they are drenched with fresh herbs and vegetables. I managed to discover the difference between each colour olives and hearing the delight of how they are marinated by one of their staff.

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Salt Meats Cheese- Harvest Olives – Sicilian Olives, lemon chunk, carrot, celery, onion and parsley.

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Salt Meats Cheese- Healthy Olives containing Green & Black Olives, Chickpeas, quinoa, pinenut, barley and fresh garlic.

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Salt Meats Cheese- Almond Olives- Green Olives, almonds, fresh garlic, lemon zest and fresh basil.

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A whole almond inside an olive

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Salt Meats Cheese- Green olives, chilli, paprika, cinnamon and fresh garlic.

It’s not before long I jumped straight to their combo – Just Awesome (22 Crowns) with handmade Salami, Cacciatore Salami, Serrano Ham, handmade Bocconcini, aged Pecorino, Asiago served with Sardinian flat bread. This is one icon box no one should miss. I should of probably got a glass of wine with that…

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Salt Meats Cheese- Just Awesome

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Salt Meats Cheese- BONUS Free tub of olives with every awesome plate. Normally (6 Crowns)

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Yogurtland – Tasting Dutch Chocolate

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I was on paparazzi mode and Alice in Frames spotted me taking a photo of her.

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FINALLY met the one and only Alice – Masterchef Australia in 2012

Take me back to this Crispy Pork Belly (8 Crowns) from Chur Burger. It is stunningly delicious and the promise of a better bite each time. It’s a magical sort of burger that is best to be kept to yourself and yourself only. The gooey chilli caramel, aioli and mint slaw was spot on with flavours. As for the thick slice of tasty pork belly, tender.

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Chur Burger – Crispy  Pork Belly (8 Crowns)

Off to the Cut Bar & Grill and we ordered Seared Kingfish (10 Crowns) including green beans, olives, tomato and egg. The dish is definitely colourful, however it was upsetting to not be able to share the fish among two people. A tad tiny for 10 crowns but what saves this sort of thing is partly the intensity of flavours that comes out of this plate.

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The Cut Bar & Grill – Seared Kingfish (10 Crowns)

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Pineapple Coconut Cocktail (10 Crowns)

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Couldn’t help but take a photo of a pineapple. It looks so much better in sunnies.

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Sensology– Espresso martini (10 Crowns)

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Cointreau Fizz- Strawberry Mint (10 Crowns)

Talk of the town is Cooking classes with Julia Taylor for (8 Crowns). And not to mention limited spots! Luckily I bumped into the organiser whilst walking and he just happened to yell out “Lurpak Cookery School”.

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Patiently waiting outside the Lurpak Cookery School.

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For (8 Crowns) Julia Taylor shows us how to make Ravioli with Salmon in Nut-Brown Butter

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As for dessert we have Salted Caramel Tarts.

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My half cooked salmon ready to be flaked.

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Tarts waiting to be filled with salted caramel.

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Pipping hot caramel.

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The glory of pouring hot sticky caramel onto the tart is magical.

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Presentation ain’t so great but taste is fantastic. I did not know butter can be an ingredient to a pasta dish.

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Julia Taylor  MasterChef 2012 runner-up

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You spin me right round baby, right round… Teehee.

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Customer service at 4Fourteen/ Four in Hand is FANTASTIC!

After seeing that piggy, well you know what I ate next… Suckling Pig (12 Crowns). The rich, complex flavours surprise my tastebuds that accompanied by smoked potato salad and crushed apple. The key to this dish is the drawing together of many elements onto the fork.

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4Fourteen/ Four in Hand – Suckling pig with smoked potato salad and crushed apple (12 crowns)

To end all savory dishes, we get a Peanut Butter Popsicle (6 Crowns) – Enriched with honeycomb crunch and dulce de leche. It is an intimate time with this coma induced treat. A great pick for those who fancy peanuts.

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4Fourteen – Peanut Butter Popsicle (6 Crowns)

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Flinders Island Slow-cooked Lamb chop (4 Crowns)

Have you ever been keen to try insects for dessert? Because at Edible Bug Shop there’s plenty of bugs for you to try. I mean yes, it sounds creepy crawly but it’s edible! Plus it contains more proteins than chicken, I think. I went for the most “appetising” and interesting flavours that included Guava and Ant Sorbet (8 Crowns) and Pistachio and Chocolate Crickets (8 Crowns)

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Edible Bug Shop

You see those tiny black spots? That’s ANTS alright! Plenty of Guava and ants in this cup. I guess if no one mentioned there’s ants in this ice-cream and instead chocolate sprinkles, then this could be more appealing.

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Guava and Ant Sorbet (8 Crowns)

In an exciting first to try Pistachio and Chocolate Crickets, I was pleasantly amused how the crickets are coated in milk chocolate. It contains a crunchy and nutty flavour that satisfies or perhaps upsets some stomachs. I could only fit one chocolate cricket in my mouth and that was it for me. But overall, a great way to end the evening with some insects in my mouth.

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Pistachio and Chocolate Crickets (8 Crowns)

Taste of Sydney is a worthy day out to sample chefs who bring a unique dish to the festival for an acceptable price. Though quality and presentation may not meet some viewers but you do get to see upfront what these culinary masters do.

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Taste of Sydney as a guest (opportunity provided by Exposure PR) and paid for the food independently, unless stated otherwise

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own. 

Photos by Vanny Tang

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

You can follow Nessy Eater on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / NewsLoop or feel free to leave a YUMMY comment  😀


4Fourteen on Urbanspoon

Chur Burger on Urbanspoon

Chow Bar and Eating House on Urbanspoon

The Cut Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon