HAPPY 2015 FOODIE FRIENDS! Can you believe it’s mid of January already?! By now you may have noticed Nessy Eater’s been busy indulging desserts and summery meals on Instagram. The Food Gods knew that they’d needed new volunteers to take up the festive Christmas feast and so they immediately decided to choose me. OH the pain I had to endure and retire my typewriter during the holiday season. But sometimes when you’re giving a task during Xmas by the Food Gods and it involves your stomach and gingerbread man, it’s automatically a food hall pass. This hall pass was cherished and used judiciously for it is not an easy thing to obtain. The hall pass is something to be prized and by verbal consent from the Food Gods and Santa, Nessy Eater has permission to share great foods with you kids. What are you waiting for? Let’s begin!
It’s my second visit to Crossroads Bar at Swissotel Sydney and just before I had retired my typewriter and crisp white paper, I managed to spot a really good deal on Groupon. For $79 for two people, you get Christmas Weekend High Tea plus a cocktail for each person. Before treating your tummy to savoury foods and sweet delights, I wanted to quickly inform you that this deal was ALL YOU CAN EAT high tea. I repeat High Tea BUFFET. DON’T PANIC IF YOU’VE MISSED OUT! After a quick investigation like a detective I found out through the Swissotel’s website the high tea buffet is still on but not Xmas themed though. I’m sure it would be still as good and it is normally $79 per person. That’s CRAZY! I saved $79! This by far was the best deal that I’ve ever purchased from Groupon.
Are you drooling?
Before thunder and lightning strikes to my typewriter I think it’s now time to share the Christmas spirit with you. Within a 5-star luxury hotel the Swissotel does get a thumbs up for their modern and elegant interior, however their service and overall management did not make it to a two-star. We were disappointed by the lack of service and management skills. For example when we arrived, staffs at the Swissotel looked like they wanted to wrestle with guests in UFC style. You could see it in their eyes they were very frustrated and sad, especially when there was one main bartender, a supervisor and three waitresses serving around fourty five plus guests. Waitresses responded with a robotic tone and left unhappily after we made our beverage orders. I guess Santa’s been overworking his helpers. Anyways moving on to rainbows and unicorns.
Our festive fare started with Christmas pudding. This traditional pud is made from vine fruit and butter, eggs and a splash of vanilla custard. Each handmade pudding was the size of a baseball and half a tennis ball. What does it taste like? Think fruitcake. It’s not everyone’s taste as it’s an acquired taste, it’s cream sauce with dried fruits in it. I think it err needed lots of cream to tone it down.
Strawberry cream caramel kept vanishing every time I was forced to return to the dessert bar. Lightly greasy but it’s wrapped around a creamy center that won’t disappoint. The half sliced strawberry made this dessert refreshing. I like the chance to play around with the wobbly jelly like texture of the cream caramel before I devour it. It gives me time to mingle before I say good-bye to it for the second time. If you’re craving for that caramel sauce to take home then you need to ask Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich for a favour.
Strawberry cream caramel
I managed to somehow not shatter the blackberry pavlova into a million pieces before it made it back to my table. The fun sized pavlova looked like snow ball meringues. It was extremely light and airy. Being able to taste it for the third time, it was one of those fabulous treats to go along with a cup of tea.
As Christmas traditions go, starting a marvellous high tea with a shot of eggnog is another great way to celebrate the festive season. The shot was very satisfying as there was an egg-rich dairy punch flavour. It can be very boozy and super rich if there’s more eggs added, but thankfully not.
Festive must haves were the fruit mince tart. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without buttery pastries and fruity mince pies. These delectable star shaped mince pies simply provided a moment of self-indulgence for me. The outside butter-enriched pastry is stuffed with chunks of moist fruit and topped with heavy sprinkles of icing.
Fruit star tart
Oh hot summer days means we need to thank the bartender at Swissotel for making us the strawberry cocktail. Though we were half way feeding our inner cravings, we still managed to wash this beverage down. The sweetness of the strawberries was a real crowd pleaser and off course the rum. It wasn’t sickly sweet, which is good news coming from the syrup. The texture kicked ass as it felt like a strawberry slushy rather than a classic cocktail.
Me thinks the strawberry panna cotta was carefully crafted. The strawberries makes a great companion with the panna cotta for bright, sharp summer fruit. The taste was somewhat cream-heavier but that didn’t matter too much because I was mildly annoyed at the casual sophistication of the presentation for this dessert.
Strawberry panna cotta
Just look at how this chocolate fountain GLISTENS! It brings a smile to everyone’s face including the grumpy cats. Stop making me smile chocolate fountain! STOP IT!
I simply couldn’t get enough of the salted caramel and jam lamingtons. The lamingtons were sandwiching the sweet jam. I tried burying evidence of me eating this, but the shredded dried coconuts around my mouth gave it away.
Salted caramel and jam lamingtons
This chilled blueberry panna cotta in a miniature plastic cup was simply impressive. The fresh blueberries and pipped cream married so well with the silky smooth vanilla bean gelatine.
Blueberry panna cotta
With our voucher package, we were treated with selections of tea or coffee. All teas are from T2.
English breakfast by T2
Tempt the tastebuds with smoked salmon tartar with pipped cream cheese on waffle cone. It’s so easy to eat and I didn’t notice I ate five till I started counting the gold wrappers. Oh Whoops!
Smoked salmon tartar cone
Not sure if sandwiches are meant to look like they’re all swirled up but hey I’m loving it. This smoked turkey, pickled raspberry jam and rocket on harvest grain was juicy with that jam spread across the bread so evenly. The thick pieces of turkey was zomg crazy ass delicious.
Smoked turkey swirl sandwich
Making my way back to the buffet bar and look who do we have here…cocktail prawn station with Crystal Bay Australian reef prawn cocktail with lemon and cocktail dressing.
Cocktail prawn station
The fire roasted red capsicums with green olive and goat cheese baguette was my least favourite. It was an interesting take on for me in terms of flavours. It has that sweet sourness from the olive and cold texture of goat cheese which I didn’t favour.
Wicked, decadent and sinful was hardly the best description for these dreamy little masterpieces. I took my time connecting with the Christmas profiteroles. Glazed with milk chocolate atop and sprinkles of crushes chocolate pieces, I think it was the perfect addition to the buffet bar.
Wait there’s MORE DESSERTS?! I became very full from stuffing my belly with trying a bit of everything, but noooooooo the pastry chef had to bring this blackberry and white chocolate mousse just before I was about to pack my fat body and go. My belly was crying on the inside but because this mousse cake was beautifully presented, I had to cut a seven inch width slice of cake.
Blackberry and white chocolate mousse
I spy with my eyes….. is that a full plate of Christmas macarons? A sensational dessert that always alwAYS ALWAYS pleases! Hehe.
We had to arrange a little bit more stomach space for the spring berry tart. Glad we did because that tart had just came straight out of the pastry headquarters looking all innocent and sweet.
Spring berry tart
Woohoo our Christmas Afternoon Tea finally came to an end, however I’m sorry I’ve missed out taking a few photos of some desserts and savories. Overall I loved skipping my way to the buffet bar and thank goodness majority of the desserts and savoury tasted magical so I could forget about their below average service. Totes heart every single desserts presentation. Swissotel is a great spot for afternoon tea whores, for example like me, although it’s a tad pricey but it’s ALL YOU CAN EAT sugar. To my disappointment I couldn’t walk out of the hotel like a Victoria Secret Model in high heels. Instead I left waddling out like Mumble from Happy Feet and swore to myself that I ain’t gonnabe eating dinner…
Top view of spring berry tart
Photos by Vanny Tang
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You’ll find this newly opened cafe Three Williams is strikingly spacious, designed by architect Anthony Gill. This cavernous diner is a bit remote as it is located at 613a Elizabeth Street, Redfern, where this roomy space was once a furniture warehouse. This place is overflowing with unreal house made beverages, mild coffees, tasty dishes and to finish help yourself to an endless selection of sweet treats, located at the counter. Please make note it is extremely important to bring an empty stomach to Three Williams as I found it tough to decide.
Replace summer time sadness with SUMMER TIME HAPPINESS by seriously starting with this House Made Pineapple and Mint Soda ($5) – It is ridiculously refreshing and addictively tasty; you wouldn’t want to share, TRUST ME. Mind-blown this soda delivers some combination of pineapple juice, corn syrup and carbonated water. If only this fizzy drink contained small amounts of alcohol then my life is complete.
House Made Pineapple and Mint Soda ($5)
Or if you like drinks made from fresh fruit and served in classic milk bottles, then you got to get your hands on Banana Smoothie ($7) – A smoothie consistency that is slightly thicker than a slushy drink suggests there is an excellent source of vitamin B and C. It is naturally sweet with the flavours of Medjool Date and crushed Walnut Praline. Personally, I believe this is the best cure for hangovers, just saying… 😛
Banana, Medjool Date, Walnut Praline Smoothie ($7)
Our eyes paid close attention to the Big Williams ($18) before it even reached our table. All-in-one, this plate contains crispy stripes of Bacon, 2 X sunny side up fried eggs, 2 X skinny Nuremberg sausage, 2 X half slices of roma tomato, hash and a portion of onion relish . Heavily buried underneath is a slice of white bread that soaks up all the meaty flavours in this dish, OH YEAH! I just discovered that Nuremberg sausage is made from lean pork and beef, best to eat it whilst it’s still hot.
Big Williams: Bacon, fried eggs, nuremberg sausage, roma tomato, hash, onion relish ($18)
This bacon turned out be crispy- WINNING!
Just rotating the plate to let you guys see the other side of this dish.
Desperately want to yell out “HEALTHY CHOICES HERE I COME” with the Pineapple and Coconut Bircher ($12) in my hands. A popular breakfast pick including uncooked rolled oats, pieces of pineapple plus juice mixed with milk, natural yogurt and paper thin slices of coconut strands. For me, it’s a change of breakfast although I don’t mind having this healthy vegetarian muesli once in a while as it is packed with tropical goodness to sustain you well into lunchtime.
Pineapple and Coconut Bircher ($12)
Paper thin coconut stripes
Excuse me if I pour my heart out but this Grilled Prawns Narnie ($14) is EPIC. The 5-6 X succulent prawns are delicately grilled but heavily seasoned with a burst of flavours as soon as the tip of your tongue touches those prawns. It is quite delicious surrounded with fresh chopped lettuce, corn pieces, drenched in secret sauce and enveloped by their famous house-made flat bread narnie. My spider senses tell me EAT WITH YOUR HANDS or else you won’t get the full satisfaction. I can finally see why this dish deserves creditability and is a SIGNATURE dish at Three Williams.
Grilled Prawns Narnie ($14)
Wowzer 5-6 pieces of fresh prawns?!
Better make it snappy and order the Fish Croquettes ($3 each) – A golden coated breadcrumb snack that instantly pops into your mouth, I question why I didn’t come here earlier?! Though it’s a bit dear in price but it’s STUFFED full with fresh fluffy white fish.
Fish Croquettes ($3 each)
This fish knows how disguise itself….It’s a winning dish in my books!
Love how Three Williams uses egg cartons for presentation purposes.
Yes, they have a kid’s section and I really really wanted to draw but I’ll save it for next time.
I found the donut cabinet! Did you know…Three Williams extracts the juices from a beetroot to add colour to these sexy bad boys.
Pink Grapefruit Donuts
Whilst stuffing our face with food, we notice a display of bikes glued onto the wall. We watched a man walk on the ramp and suddenly stopped in front of one of the bikes and lifts his hands up to take down the bike, then continues exiting the cafe with the bike. Yes there were a few “Whaa…the…f…” faces however I strongly approve because you can see it and most importantly USE IT.
Before the bike disappeared.
After the bike disappeared. LOL. Just not use to this yet.
Spacious seatings all around Three Williams.
It is essential to keep all INTIMACYS on the complimentary Pink Grapefruit Donut to yourself. This sugar- glazed grapefruit donut left me jaw-dropping. The appearance may just look standard but with a cleansing bite of a fresh pink grapefruit juice also a slightly bitter finish, it’s a win for the big kid’s palate. Very sorry if this donut doesn’t appear to look like above but that’s because whilst driving it flipped upside down.
Complimentary Pink Grapefruit Donut
I am confident to say this complimentary Pistachio Cake goes oh so well with a good cup of coffee. It’s perfectly moist tea snack cake with pistachio fragrance all around.
Complimentary Pistachio Cake
LOOK I made a NEW FRIEND!!! Say HELLO to Elizabeth, her contagious friendly hospitality made me run back to the cafe and take a photo with her. LOVE HER PHOTOGENIC SMILE!!! In conclusion, I only had to trek across the busy streets of Sydney to make the most amazing discovery of house-made soda, narnie and much much more. I advise you to go straight for the pink iced doughnuts! AND if you see Elizabeth say “HI” for me 😀
Elizabeth at Three Williams
Photos by Vanny Tang
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