It’s hard to believe I was at the beach recently happily diving my toes into the dry cold sand. I struggled to stay away from the sun and knew if I didn’t, I would miss my lunch date with these kids; Excuse Me Waiter, The Food Diary, The Kawaii Kitchen, Milkteaxx, Drool Worthy World, Mademoiselle Mange à Sydney and The Casual Food Blogger. Sun tanning on an empty stomach can be dangerous…so what makes it better? Two little things I would like to share with you, food and more food. Tehehe.
Decisions, decisions, decisions!
When I dropped by for lunch at Whitewater Manly on sunny bright weekend, thanks to Excuse Me Waiter’s invitation, we were lucky to have sat indoor but still managed to face the stunning view of Manly beach, which is right opposite the restaurant. Before we were seated, we had a quick look at the restaurant’s NEW FUNCTION room that caters at least 30 hungry guests as well as it comes with full air-conditioner if ever you’re a host at the party and it’s too hot to handle the guests, just flick a switch and ta-da…breeze.
Inside look at Whitewater’s NEW FUNCTION ROOM
I’m really not used to dining at a restaurant with a picture perfect beach view so I really enjoyed starting with the smallest of things like ordering beverages. I’m really not used to dining at a restaurant with a picture perfect beach view so I really enjoyed starting with the smallest of things like ordering beverages. Forget soft drinks and unwind on Kryptonite ($17) which features absinthe, green apple schnapps, midori, lime juice, pineapple juice and dash of sugar syrup. Seriously a green haven!
It wasn’t a lunch time garden party, but the sparkling pimms ($17) with hendrick’s gin, pimms, sliced cucumber and sparkling adds a fruity look and has a kick that will bring a smile to your face, even by just gazing at it.
Sparkling Pimms ($17)
So I heard that grapefruit juice ($5.50) is ranked among those highest in antioxidant activity and that is why I had to order it. Besides attempting to be heathy I was stuck between either driving to Manly beach or catching a bus. To avoid drink driving I headed straight to the mocktail section of the menu. I also like to point out if you ever plan to drive to Manly on a weekend, GOOD LUCK with finding a car spot. Its torture let me tell you and it cost $9/per hour, so just imagine how many Ben & Jerry’s scoop of ice-creams I could have had. BUT if you are obligated to show off your red Lamborghini at Manly, then I have good news for you. The carparks in Manly are 2 hours free (paid onwards) near Manly Library OR I was told you can ferry ride to Manly, which I totes forgot!
Grapefruit Juice ($5.50)
I think I’m one of a few that sees the words bone marrow on the menu and takes advantage of ordering it. The roasted bone marrow ($9.95) was very rich dish and some could only handle a few teaspoons, whereas I prefer mouthfuls. It’s another love of mine that rarely is offered in restaurants. I was impressed by the seasoning of garlic, parsley, mustard seeds, sprinkles of chili and 3 slices of warm buttered bread.
Roasted Bone Marrow ($9.95)
Next up fish tacos ($17.95)– A joyful jumble of a JUMBO beer battered fish fillet with a cabbage slaw. These two ingredients run and swirl together, amplifying each other’s flavours. As you can see the taco shell couldn’t handle carrying the fish!
Roasted Chinese Duck ($22.95) also known as Peking duck is an interesting take on. A savoury selection pocketed in homemade pancakes and if you wrap it up with shallots, cucumber and splash it with plum hoi sin sauce it be almost the best in town for Manly.
Roasted Chinese Duck ($22.95)Be shore of yourself. Come out of your shell.
During the time of every blogger digesting their heavenly delicious entrees, I had to race back to my car and find another available car spot. Luckily I didn’t miss the mains! Thanks guys and girls for not stuffing your face with my Whitewater seafood plate ($43.95). This is seriously the perfect celebration on a plate. Do you see freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters, king prawns, tuna tataki, marinated octopus, smoked salmon and prawn cocktail? The tuna tataki was seasoned to perfection with a proprietary blend of sweet and salty.
Whitewater Seafood Plate ($43.95)
Besides seafood there’s crumbed lamb loin ($27.95) that’s generously cloaked in olive and pistachio crust for extra crunch. Buried underneath truffle mash and a lamb jus. The crust kicked ass and the lamb was marinated so well. Not at all dry because of the river of jus.
Crumbed Lamb Loin($27.95)
The 4o Degree Ocean Trout ($26.95) was a food lover’s dream come true. It had a soft pink flesh with a delicate refined taste. Very silky and smooth as I cut through it with a knife. Hidden underneath the trout was watercress salad and a horseradish mayo that is versatile with any seafood.
4o Degree Ocean Trout ($26.95)
Feeling overwhelmed with the amount of food we had just devoured. We had to order a few more summer drinks to wash it all down. The Whitewater Juice ($5.50) was a favourite of mine that included a mix of pineapple, grapefruit and orange juice. Doesn’t it look so refreshing?
Whitewater Juice ($5.50)
As I had to face not drinking any alcoholic beverages including the coco-mango daiquiri ($17). I think I can say Mademoiselle Mange à Sydney really enjoyed this summer slushy drink as she managed to quickly finish it before our desserts arrived. This is totes a drink for active people! It features a blend of havana club white rum, malibu, mango liqueur, mango puree and lime juice.
Coco-mango Daiquiri ($17)
Fresh, vibrant, beautiful are the three words I use to describe how I feel after looking at this strawberry Juice ($5.50).
Strawberry Juice ($5.50)
Please don’t claw me Mr. Crabbie.
OH MY GOD! Seating booths…it’s leather alright.MASSIVE open kitchen
Soon enough our vanilla creme brulee ($17) arrived looking very HUMUNGOUS! The photo below does not do it justice. It was basically the size of three to four iPhones put together. Served cold it was a real cool treat. That light egg custard with a GIGANTIC sable biscuit was a great combination. You can taste the eggy-ness with the caramelized and slightly burnt sugar on top. Mmmmmm I’m feeling hungry again…
Vanilla Creme brulee ($17)
Another dessert option included ice-cream ($13) which contains 3 reasonable scoops in a bowl. The flavours include vanilla-almond nougat, baileys and sherry-raisin.
I know that there are mixed feelings about the affogato plain ($8) but having two of my favourite things; coffee and ice-cream put together in one dessert cup is like winning a lottery ticket. The shot of coffee was intense and a powerful taste of bitterness took place. Then something rewarding comes with it…a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to add that creamy quick-melting flavour. It was superb!
Affogato Plain ($8)
How much fun does the lemon tart ($17) look? It contains sable Breton with lemon financiere and Italian meringue. It was magnificent with explosions of zesty flavours of lemon. Loved the layer of light golden-brown shortbread crust.
Lemon Tart ($17)
The proportions of the chocolate ganache ($17) was flawless mainly because it also contained the right amount of salted caramel sauce, chocolate and mango carrot sorbet. It looked so fine I really wanted it to be all mine.
Chocolate Ganache ($17)
To end this fantastic lunch feast at Whitewater’s the kitchen surprized us with a dessert platter, decorated with all sorts of their desserts on their menu. I seriously couldn’t handle another bite, but it’s desserts after all…
Dessert Platter (A mix of desserts)
Whitewater Restaurant opposite Manly beach is one popular restaurant on a weekend. The service is attentive and friendly. While their menu prices are on the dearer end, Whitewater does have its highlights of having first class view of the beach. The dining atmosphere is very laid back and it’s certainly a spot to hang-out after a swim in the ocean.
It’s so packed at Whitewater on a weekend!
Photos by Vanny Tang
Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?
Thanks to China Republic for sending me an invite to their Pre-Opening last Thursday and is NOW OFFICIALLY OPENED today (Tuesday 12 November) . I fondly remember a handful of chefs flown in from all parts of China specialising authentic Asian cuisines, the opportunity to get an exclusive tour around the restaurant and the sacred peking duck room where all the ducks are crafted to perfection.
The service team represented an energy that was impressive and friendly however there were a few hiccups with the orders for example some of the dishes we didn’t order miraculously appeared to our table. But hey, its a pre-opening, mistakes are bound to happen. If you ever happen to come across a waitress who is down to earth and enthusiastic then that’s Lauren. She was my personally favourite that night as she managed to deal with the tiny errors. Unlike grand-openings, China Republic’s Pre-Opening provided an irresistible menu besides having to taste a tasty selection of canapés.
Looking at the menu, I honestly wanted to try every single dish, but my main focus was to try their signature and recommended dishes. Therefore I quickly grabbed one of the host “K” to order for us. I never would have thought for a pre-opening that all their dishes that night were meal sizes. “K” had ordered a total 9 dishes plus 3 cocktails for two people. Having the opportunity to feast I finally experienced how it feels to be in the position of an emperor. Wow, I really am very grateful 🙂 🙂 🙂
Feast your eyes by reading on foodie lovers.
Throughout the entire evening Charles the Bartender Manager made the most amazing cocktails. They’re far from just sweet concoctions for the bitter sting of alcohol.
Charlies Angel Cocktail supplies great flavours of shiraz wine mild on the palate, bringing a hint of rich sweet strawberry to still keep the refreshing clean finish.
Charlies Angel Cocktail
Vee Vee Cocktail remarkably an island mist fruity beverage with the blend of muddled kiwi, crushed mint, lime, vodka and sugar syrup. This cocktail sure adds a whole new level of freshness.
Vee Vee Cocktail
Close up of the Vee Vee Cocktail
Phenomenal is the Oolong Long Island Ice tea– A complex and sophisticated flavor appears earthy with the decoration of fresh mint. With its fresh green floral aroma, this highly prized tea releases sweet flavours and delicate mouthfeel.
Oolong Long Island Ice tea
Cold Pork, Beef and Chicken served with Salt and Special Sweet and Sour Dressing ($18) apparently has 12 flavours. Can you guess all 12 flavours? Cleverly presented on a stone cement plate all the meat presented is a snack of food heaven.
Cold Pork, Beef and Chicken served with Salt and Special Sweet and Sour Dressing ($18)
Apart from its impressive cold cuts their sweet dressing may tempt you to bathe your sliced meat before eating.
Salt and Special Sweet and Sour Dressing
Holy Tofu! Seeing the Beijing-style Tofu with Shallots and Fish Roe ($9) is absolutely stunning. This cold dish separated in 3 parts probably is ideal for foodies who don’t want to share. Teehee.
Beijing-style Tofu with Shallots and Fish Roe ($9)
Simply stunning dish
Doesn’t this remind you of a Dragon boat ?
Seaweed Soup with Tofu and Scallops ($9)– It was nearly identical to the texture of chicken broth soup. Generally served warm, this soup should not be underestimated as it lets you explore all the flavours in a bowl.
Seaweed Soup with Tofu and Scallops ($9)
Wave those spaghetti hands tofu.
The Spinach Soup with Enoki Mushrooms ($9) tastes noticeably different compared to other creamy vegetable soups. A healthy nutritious soup full of flavour and is no spinach soup I’d ever had. This soup worked beautifully on it’s own and has inspired me to eat more spinach.
Spinach Soup with Enoki Mushrooms ($9) is perfect for vegetarians
Crispy Spicy Prawns ($32) is a versatile dish worth sharing, with its prawn sugar coated in chilli, garlic, strands of spring onion and cooked in special sauce, it’s just a dish you are looking for.
Crispy Spicy Prawns ($32)
Sauteed Spicy Beef Mince with Basil served with Pocket Pancake China Republic ($32) will be easy peasy to eat if you have surgeon hands or you happen to be just naturally talented at handling delicate things, because their pocket pancakes are quite fragile. There’s a high chance you’ll be finger licking as this dish can be surprisingly addictive and messy.
Sauteed Spicy Beef Mince with Basil served with Pocket Pancake China Republic ($32)
Quite a filling dish
Pocket pancake filled with minced beef- How freaken adorable!
This is a nice change of pace from the typical Peking duck. Introducing China Republic’s Braised Lamb Brisket served with Pepper Salt and Mandarin Pancake with Dressing ($36) is going to overwhelm some people. When the chunks of lamb, salad and sauce are combined onto a piece of pancake it offers a decent mild flavour that doesn’t overpower each other.
China Republic’s Braised Lamb Brisket served with Pepper Salt and Mandarin Pancake with Dressing ($36)
I was unable to identify a sweet subtle flavour in the braised lamb brisket, perhaps it’s a Chef’s secret ingredient added.
Let your lamb brisket roll around the crushed peanuts.
Half a dozen peking duck pancakes
It’s no surprise peking duck is one of the world’’s favourite dishes and I am certainly glad China Republic has bought Signature Peking Duck ($88) to Sydney. China Republic’s duck take a total of 8 days to prepare before placing them into an oven. Firstly the ducks are cleaned, then hung up to be blow dried for a day. Next the ducks are pumped with air to set the skin structure before dipped in boiling water for a short while then it is hung up again to dry. While it is hanging, the ducks are thoroughly smeared with layers of date syrup, honey and special sauce. The ducks are then placed into a 16c freezer for 7 days. Before being roasted and turning golden brown the ducks are rinsed once more with hot water. To allow the ducks look evenly shiny and crispy, they are rotated systematically with a stick for 40-45 minutes in a 250c oven.
Signature Peking Duck ($88)
The Chef who masters at delivering authentic peking duck
My Oh My…Just look how the duck skin is glisteningly puffed.
As a mad peking duck lover, we were looking forward to the duck arriving at our table, but having two plates of juicy ducks that’s just INSANE for 2 people to share. We soon learn after this is one whole duck!
Excited at the idea of two plates of peking duck.
The real difference in China Republic’s peking duck shines through with the duck’s skin. Whether eaten on its own or with the pancake, the crispy skin noticeably melts quickly in your mouth is very much like sinking your tongue into s’mores except in a savory version.
Juicy roasted duck that is served boneless.
Crispiest Peking Duck skin is beautifully moist and tender.
With every peking duck comes with 2 dozen of peking duck pancakes plus a few gua bao buns.
Every time I picked up my next pancake or pocket pancake, I think deeply about what nasty things I’m going to do with it. Teehee.
In case you’re not familiar with filling your peking duck pancake, I recommend asking one of their friendly staff for a pamphlet on how to eat a peking duck. No joke! China Republic offers a PAMPHLET. Did you know China Republic suggests 6 ways of filling your pancake? With supplied 8 ingredients including:
– White sugar
– Garlic paste
– Sweet bean paste also known as ho sin sauce
– Pickled cucumber
– Chopped red onion
– Chinese mustard
You must play with your food, YOU MUST! Even if the angel voice pops in your head “don’t play with your food”. I personally ignored it that night and got messy. The excitement of decorating your own pancake is fun and delightful.
Besides Hoisin sauce China Republic offers additional 7 ingredients, that’s a total 8
Me thinks minion Phil wanted some pancakes too…Teehee.
I admit, we were completely stuffed but when the dessert menu arrived in a satin silk cover. We’re told by “K” there’s a few intriguing treats in their menu that I must try. Indeed there is a fair few fascinating desserts…just a fair few… 😀
Whatever your sugar hungry tummy wants and the giddiness of ordering the entire dessert that the menu has to offer, first start off with their Assorted Dessert Plate for 2 ($21.50) Also available for 6-8. This EXTRAORDINARY Chinese antique themed dessert goes above and beyond with the presentation of desserts. It is an art plated dessert were the individual sweets are very uniquely delicious and creative.
Can’t go wrong ordering the Assorted Dessert Plate for 2 ($21.50)
Steamed Rice cake with Sweet Stuffing
Glutinous Rice Roll with Waffle Cookie
Glutinous Rice Cake served with Rose Jam
Mashed Sweet Pea Cake
Glutinous Rice Cake served with Mashed Fruits
Black Sesame Jelly
Right after our HUGE FOOD FEAST, “K” gave us a tour around their stunning Chinese themed restaurant. Whether it is for a few cocktails before dining, or a few drinks to catch up with friends, this elegant bar area is perfect place for conversation and relaxation after work.
Sophisticated bar area
Second Level were they offer private rooms for functions.
A piece of hand crafted Chinese Teapot.
Apparently this classic emperors house is made of sticks, also handmade. Jaw-dropping.
Antique pieces imported all the way from China.
Photo with Head Peking Duck Chef Jian Wang
As we reached the end of our tour, Charles continues to make a variety of tropical cocktails. To create an enjoyable mixed drink it must be shaken.
Such a small world I bumped into my old high school friend who I haven’t seen in years since our High School Graduation and he is now a Chef at China Republic. Surprised his the man behind the peking duck making.
Photo with Peking Duck Chef Linyi Yuan
Ridiculously clever way to fold napkins.
-Spinach Soup with Enoki Mushrooms
-Braised Lamb Brisket served with Pepper Salt and Mandarin Pancake with Dressing
-Assorted Dessert Plate for 2
A good peking duck is usually a good sign for a decent meal and so far China Republic menus is tempting to try again in my books. A passionate chef will go out of their way to make a dish worth it and clearly these chefs have done so in my opinion.
Photos by Vanny Tang
Disclaimer: Nessy Eater dined as guests of China Republic Pre-Opening. Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.
Update on 16/11/2013: Check out an article Good Food has written for China Republic here
Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?
Surry Hill, a suburb of wonders . For the weekend night life and the nearby restaurant distances of each other you may stumble to a wine bar called Rainford Street Social (500 Crown St Surry Hills, NSW2010). It is one of many places to socialise, offering modern Australian cuisine. The fresh flowers sitting on the blue checkered table cloth and old school chairs don’t give much away. But once you walk in the music’s on vinyl and the crowd is loud. Everyone is having a good time.
The tables and chairs take you back to school. The menus are simple and straightforward but the table was a bit confused whether it was Autumn or Winter as the top right corner of the menu stated “Autumn 2013”.
They have quite a spacious open bar and kitchen where couples or groups can sit and watch bartenders show off a few skills or two. Service can be a little neglectful ( there were only two ) but it’s nice and friendly.
We started with a few cocktails Mai Tai Circa 2012 ($14) chunks of crushed ice cubes with a blend of spirits, lime, bitters, and Rainford Mai Tai mix garnished with a wedge of lime.
The Julep de Normandy ($11) is simple and balanced with The Hills Cider, cloudy apple juice, Poire William Liqueur and pressed mint. Refreshing, sweet and tangy. Spotted most tables ordering this cocktail therefore without thinking ordered it straight away.
Unfortunately White Rabbit Shake ($10) was unavailable because they were out of banana cream pie ice cream and so we ended up with Spiced Corn & Oil ($10) which is probably one of the best choices. It consists of Havana 7yr Rum, Velvet Falernum, Pimento Dram served in huge ice cubes.
First up our bites- Lightly fried whitebait, aioli, lemon ($7) probably one of the worst fried whitebaits I’ve come across. Served slightly warm, nor tasted freshly fried. However upside they did well with presentation.
We tried BBQ pork throwdown, lettuce & pear chutney ($4) the taste and texture of the meat was average and the bun, well it felt like hard bread that’s not suppose to be served together with the meat. It was a disappointment they ran out of Rainford burger throwdown ($4) .
Highly recommended to have a few rounds of cocktails before you except to have your mains to be served to your table. Our table waited patiently for 32 minutes and witnessed one of the table across the restaurant came in after us and was served mains before us.
During the wait for our mains we also witnessed and eavesdropped a lot of their dishes ran out for the day. It was quite odd over hearing the conversation as we scanned with our eyes to see if it was really that packed and the answer is no not really. A few empty tables across the room and throughout the early evening many people walked in to hope they can dine, unfortunately waitress kept declining because it was a full house. We didn’t believe so and it was only 7:40pm on our watch…
Finally our mains arrived Pan Fried John Dory , mussels, curry sauce ($28) a really nicely conceived dish . The John dory crisp that it crackles whilst it’s being sliced into pieces. Mussel tastes fresh.
The Braised Lamb Shoulder, polenta, red capsicum ($29) wasn’t as good as it looks. It’s just a disappointment we waited a very long time for a lamb to taste so bland and the mash potato usually buttery and mouth-melting, sadly this one tasted undercooked and raw.
Our last main arrived moments later, Classic Fish Pie ($19) plated on a lovely floral plate. The mash potato was somewhat slightly better than the previous dish. Good mixer of seafood – prawns, mussels squid like a seafood marinara mix and vegies. It’s a delicious group of textures but the creamy sauce had no flavour whatsoever.
By the end of our meals we appreciated our cocktails ,the venue and the atmosphere more than the food. The main dishes are a let down. Perhaps a little more flavour added on every plate.
Photos by Vanny Tang
After a crazy few days in Melbourne exploring, I woke up to a nice sunny day in time for mini symposium lunch degustation, which I have been dying to try, since I landed in Melbourne. Sadly to say this will be my first and last time to try Masterchef George Calomaris famous restaurant THE PRESS CLUB (72 Flinders Street Melbourne 3000 Australia) as they come to end this month and will reopen a new renovated restaurant with a twist to their selections of cuisine.
Once I became aware of their restaurant closing down , it was an immediate reaction to go call and make a reservation, especially when I’m a fan of watching almost all seasons of Masterchef. Quite a convenient location, as it’s located at a corner and a huge sign on top of the building written “The Herald”.
The table chosen the group lunch menu $85 pp , which consists of 5 course entree , main and wait for it… dessert !
Complementary olive bread and sour dough arrived with fish oil butter. A rich smooth butter that blended so well with the bread was deliciousness. I almost finished the table’s sour dough and butter though it was a bit heavy flavor for the butter I still managed to gobble it down.
Both entree’s and matching wine had arrived and I just couldn’t wait to dig in after the host had finished explaining what each element was. The table voted top entree was 2006 Taste – Saganaki martini, which infused with organic tea , tomato and hamuli cheese with a shot of vodka and 2012 Greek salad – Capsicum, heirloom tomato, Kalamata ice cream yoghurt. One of my friend admitted he doesn’t like veggies, but with Kalamata he suddenly managed to finish the entire entree.
After a quick conversation arrived 2006 Salmon – Olive oil poached, cauliflower, taramasalata, prawn crackers and for my allergic seafood friend with veggie issues pan fried quail with steamed veggies. From the pictures the salmon looks not so cooked, however it was cooked to perfection. The table agreed this salmon was top main dish . Salmon was so moist with flavors bursting out it surprised the table.
By the time I finished my salmon, my tummy started to become full and the host had again served us complimentary bread with butter. Next the 2007 Lamb – Mastic braised neck, pomme puree, yoghurt cheese delicately served to our table. A flawlessly cooked lamb tender and succulent ended up half eaten by me and past onto the table to balance out my belly for the final dish to arrive, dessert.
SWEET MOTHER OF DESSERT , the final dish was gleaming when it was being served on our table. I finally had an opportunity to try the famous 2012 Strawberry – Bougatsa, caramelised phyllo, sweetened milk Masterchef dish that has numerously been played back and forth in my head , which has been presented in one of the Masterchef TV series. The host mentioned this dessert is called Aphrodite meaning goddess of love, lust and beauty and I totally couldn’t agree with her more.
Munching away the garden of strawberries on my plate looked devine , the white chocolate mousse fondant drizzled out strawberry sauce and crumpled chocolate taste somewhat similar to Oreo. Did I mention on top of the fondant mousse is a single rose petal dunk in sweetness of sugar ? That rose petal was sugar heaven to me, I am so impressed how the rose petal was so crispy with sugar, I almost snitched someone else’s rose petal too. Just to taste all over again.
Definitely a satisfying way to end our degustation, with a big smile and my belly is complete.