Meat

Vue De Monde – Personality on a Plate – Round 2

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

The adventure begins

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

That view

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

Pumpkin and all

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

Them baller cutlery

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

Turnips with fresh milk curd and emu

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

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

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

Western Australian Marron with pine mushrooms and macadamia

Uncovered the Western Australian Marron with pine mushrooms and macadamia

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

Moonlight flat rusty wire oyster with lemon myrtle

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

Beer and fennel bread with cultured butter

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

Mark Eather Kingfish with spanner crab and beach herbs

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

Kohlrabi with Yarra Valley salmon roe and marron coral

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

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

Davidson plum sorbet with sorrel and flowers

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

Raw Kangaroo with figs and muntari berries

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

Wallaby snag with wattleseed damper and condiments

Wattleseed damper being cooked

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

Wallaby snag with wattleseed damper and condiments

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

The finished result of a Wallaby snag with wattleseed damper 

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

Have you seen this knife holder before?

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

David Blackmore wagyu striploin with marron coral and cabbage

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

Melbourne’s CBD Night View

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

Roasted marshmallows

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

Roasted marshmallow

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

Tea tree, mandarian, and desert limes

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

Roasted marshmallows filled with chocolate

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

Tea tree, mandarian, and desert limes

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

Chocolate soufflé

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

Lamington and Gumnuts

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

Gumnuts

Vud De Monde Lights

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

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

“For the next day”

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Gypsy Dining Experience at The Emporium |Parramatta

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This year Parramatta has transformed typical quiet urban spaces into a magical vibrant world of colours, sounds and tastes. The Emporium is one of many restaurants that invite people to experience unique nightlife and for food lovers enjoy everything from European inspired delicacies to Middle Eastern flavours. The vibe is rustic style eatery and has a classy edge – draped in greenery and filled with natural light. With three separate dining areas including two alfresco spaces, a coffee roaster and a bakery, this place caters for all guests.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (1)This is what I call enchanting courtyard party at The Emporium.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (2)You’ll notice handmade furniture imported from Venice.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (3)People of Parramatta you better strap yourselves in to get a glimpse of the Mediterranean Feel.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (4)Born in Italy, raised in Australia, the Purezza sparkling water

To start we had albacore tuna tartare with miso, corn and a generous spread of avocado with squid ink puffed rice paired with St Clair Gruner Veltliner 2012, Marlborough NZ. To satisfy the omega 3 lovers this may have been ridiculously addictive, we just kept dunking the puffed rice into that gloriously fragrant smell of corn and miso. I took great delight in seeing who could grab the biggest piece of tuna. Teehee.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (5)Albacore Tuna Tartare

General manager Dominic Borel (ex-Gazebo and the Local Taphouse) shares his tales of how he was contacted by the owners John and Sam Ayoub, who are also behind the successful chain The Coffee Emporium.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (6)Domonic Borel

Next we have waygu beef tartare that’s finely plated with kohl rabi, eggplant, black garlic, salt and vinegar tapioca puffs paired with Soumah Savarro Savagnin 2014, Yarra Valley Vic. To add that extra texture egg yolk puree was in the house. This was a pretty entree and had a perfect rare centre. The egg yolk had me swiping the plate clean of that precious liquid puree. What surprised most guests was the droplets of black garlic that seemed to twist a lot of people’s taste buds.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (7)Waygu Beef Tartare

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (8)Stunning Italian-villa inspired garden.

How could I resist Petuna ocean trout with a healthier option that includes thin slices of fennel, radish, apple and raspberry matched with a glass of Chateau Riotor Cote du Provence Rose, Provence FR. It is clear the highlight of this dish was the splash of pink salad. Yeah I don’t know how that happened on the one plate but I’m sure I enjoyed this. This has got to be the perfect spring colour dish. The trout was reasonably cooked and the salad married so well with the flavours. I loved the crunchy bits of the fennel and apple. It made this plate more exciting!

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (9)Petuna Ocean Trout

On a heavier side we were served with pork hock that was slow cooked for hours and HOURS in secret master stock and matched with a glass of Jed Malbec 2013, Mendoza ARG. The pork was juicy enough that it didn’t really need anything else.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (10)Pork Hock

That GLORIOUS side view of the pork hock had my heart skip a beat. My god how GOOD was the skin?! That fat could quietly kill me. The hock was so satisfying with the candied chilli and green paw paw salad but me thinks it was missing something. Coming from an Asian background I felt like I needed to order a bowl of plain white rice. Perhaps it was the salad taste that got me wanting rice. It was evident that I enjoyed this dish because I scraped the plate clean.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (11)There’s a hulk in my pork.

The menu, in the hands of Head Chef Robert Cannon (ex-Pony Lounge & Dining) is contemporary Australian with a Mediterranean taste. Trained in the UK mastering classic English dishes, Rob brings a wealth of experience and skills to The Emporium.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (12)Rob Cannon 

In addition to the mouth-watering savoury menu, The Emporium has a range of cheeses to get you into the mood for the cheesy side of you. The delice de cremier had a rich, indulgent triple cream cow’s milk texutre with a soft, sweet and buttery flavour. To accompaniment there was quince paste, dried sultans, granny apple slices and gourmet wafers. The refreshing and clean taste of Walnut Block Pinot Noir 2010, Marlborough NZ was epic.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (13)Delice De Cremier

Dessert time and we had chocolate cremeaux paired with a lovely glass of Piggs Peake Suckling Pig Sticky Shiraz 2014, Hunter Valley NSW. We were SUPER cheerful to see this sweet treat however none of us wanted to share. I believe I fell in love with the honeycomb ice cream or maybe it was the chocolate soildulce de leche and espresso gel. Every spoonful I ate had a much more intense flavour and that espresso aroma was intoxicating in a good way.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (14)Chocolate Cremeaux

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (15)Front Entrance of The Emporium

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (16)Parramatta’s European inspired restaurant.

The Emporium is the perfect addition to Parramatta’s thriving food and cultural scene and might I add it’s a must-visit food destination with an enchanting courtyard party full of gypsy swing tunes, sights and scents of thriving romance! The menu is designed to be shared amongst friends so you better bring your angel side along.

In other news The Emporium will be celebrating Melbourne Cup in style on Tuesday 3rd November with surprise guests, best dressed awards, sweeps, screens, hats, heels and many more. Spoil yourself with canapes and champagne in Erby Place for $50 per head or champagne and sit down lunch in The Emporium and garden courtyard for $75 per head.

The Emporium_Nessy Eater (18)Now that is what I call food styling.

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Gypsy Dining Experience at The Emporium, thanks to Stellar.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

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The Emporium Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bring on Sashimi and Sushi Busshari, Potts Point

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HEY Foodie Friends! It’s been a while since my last post and I’m slowly coming back to planet Earth. Forgive me, but ERMAHGERD winter is here. Since I’m slowly returning to the eating world I thought it was time to visit Busshari in Potts Point that is minutes away from Kings Cross Station. As I entered the restaurant I look around and it’s dark with a few dim lights, but that didn’t matter because I easily spotted the bar seating, YIPPEE!

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Is your belly excited or what for some Japanese food?!

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What? There’s sashimi and sushi at Busshari?

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Busshari Bar Seating 

We started with the chef’s selection sashimi plate ($34) that includes ocean trout, tuna, scallops, kingfish and fabulously decorated with red kombu and seaweed. Undoubtedly fresh! What a way to start dinner.

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Chef’s Selection  Sashimi Plate ($34)

Was it really necessary to take another photo of the fresh sashimi plate? YES IT WAS! My favourite was the ocean trout and tuna which had an utterly decadent texture to it and had us fighting over the last piece with our wooden chopsticks.

Busshari_Nessy Eater (3)Liking the side view?

There was an impressive looking sake menu and well I had to order one for the team. Teehee. We tried spotting a waitress with our sake bottle, but instead she brings a selection of handmade sake cups to our area first and excitingly informs us to choose a cup. I took a gamble and embarrassed myself by singing eeny meeny miny moe. Look below what I picked…

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Which sake cup shall I choose?

The Tengumai sake ($17) had the perfect sweet balance and matched incredibly well with sashimi and the sushi plate. Just a tip: If you order sake’s lukewarm/hot in winter they’re usually the ones where you instantly feel the alcohol going around to your head (like you might with vodka). After two shots of sake it did its job making my world spin.

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Tengumai Sake ($17)

I felt comfortable staring at the chef’s selection sushi plate ($34), it was hot property between two hungry food lovers. I try the unagi that’s freshwater eel broiled with a sweet brush of teriyaki sauce and tamagoyaki as well as uni nigiri and they were wonderful. The textures made me crazy that I didn’t want to share so what else to do but to continue to eat….

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Chef’s Selection Sushi Plate ($34)

This has got to be the LARGEST tamagoyaki I’ve ever had as I found it hilarious that it looked like a Japanese surf board and it’s edible. It looked so LOOOOOOOOONG that I compared it with my iPhone, almost the same height. It was tasty nonetheless.

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 My Tamagoyaki looked like a surf board. HAHA!

We applaud when the plate of  sushi roll rainbow ($17) arrives. Usually normal people would eat the sushi but I had to do investigate each sliced sushi piece. Rainbow rolls are awesome in my world because you get a nice variety of fish, and they’re colourful and I love colours. There was a mix of ingredients including tuna, salmon, yellowtail and prawn.

Busshari_Nessy Eater (7)

 Sushi Roll Rainbow ($17)

Turns out I was lucky enough to eat three quarters of this dish. These babies didn’t disappoint and had a tasty inside of avocado, cucumber and crabstick. I loved the fragrance of the rice as it was well put together with the other ingredients.

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It’s ALL mine! 

Fasten your seat belts because the soft shell crab karaage ($18) was FREAKEN INSANCE and finger-licking good. There was good chemistry with me and those crabs. It did look double battered, but looks can be deceiving my friends. It didn’t take much to make my happy with this dish and certainly wasn’t willing to share. I take the biggest piece that I could find and it was light and crisp. It almost felt as if each piece was hollow inside but had a strong flavour of the crab. A very exciting dish to order if you HEART FRIED STUFF.

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Soft Shell Crab Karaage ($18)

Well when there’s fried food on the table one has to order Asahi beer on tap ($9.50) just to balance the flavours…

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 Asahi beer on tap ($9.50)

We genuinely liked the wagyu beef sizzling tobanyaki ($33), however for the wrong reason. After a friendly start with the wagyu beef sizzling in a clay pot with extremely hot charcoal we waited for a few minutes before we dived our chopsticks in. To my surprise the meat was kinda bland and lacked that wagyu melt in the mouth texture, but it was overall juicy. Some pieces were a tad chewy and whilst others were somewhat tender. It’s quite a popular pick for the locals as it looks fun, so do give it a go and maybe you’d get lucky with the flavour and texture of the meat. Make sure to ask for a bowl of rice ($4) to accompany those juicy pieces of wagyu or at least turn that boring plain rice into something meaty.

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Wagyu Beef Sizzling Tobanyaki ($33)

I had high levels of affection with the mixed sizzling vegetables including corn, asparagus, mushroom and a piece of carrot carved into the shape of a flower. Something about vegetables being sizzled on a hot clay pot taste so much more awesome that I required a guard to make sure none of these pieces gets stolen from me while I went for a toilet break.

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Top view of the wagyu at its best!

We struggled eating the last two pieces of wagyu and it was a real shame that it wasn’t the highlight of this dish, instead the mixed fresh veggies were. We had to make sure we didn’t get the wrong dish and had asked the waitress to clarify if this was the the wagyu beef we ordered. She confirmed this was the dish and informed us it was the wagyu shoulder. For some gut feeling I didn’t want to believe it. But hey I ate all my vegetables at the end of the day and most of the meat. How can one complain when meat is sizzling right in front of you…

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Woooo this pot comes with hot charcoal inside and a flame…

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Handmade plates made by the Chef himself, Nobuyuki Ito.

Our very last dish had to end with the dessert platter ($15) and I went way to emotional with choosing three part desserts. Living in my own little bubble the pumpkin mousse brulee made me feel like Cinderella who lost her shoe at midnight, but instead I just got fat. Teehee. The brulee was reasonably smooth and had a tiny bit of raw pumpkin flavour. Next the sesame tart was crazy intense with a good solid crunchiness to it and it was pretty generous with the sesame seeds as you can see. For the black sesame ice-cream it was undoubtedly rich and smooth and I just wanted to slab a few tablespoons onto the tart but I was too late. AND if you are a Washoku Lovers member you get a scoop of green tea ice-cream for FREE. All you need to do is just flash that card of yours to the staff. How easy was that?!

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Dessert Platter (3 Choice- $15) 

It was entertaining to see Chef Nobuyuki Ito show off his knife skills as well as plating each dish during the night with freshly cut sashimi and hand-making sushi right in front of us. I can see why Busshari is so popular at Potts Point as they recently celebrated their 9th Year Anniversary. I loved the bar seating area, the food was pretty up there, however very sad the wagyu wasn’t as great as I imagined. I do have plans to revisit this place again soon and try the rest of the sake menu.

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Concentration is key at Busshari when it comes to making seafood sashimi salad.

Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater plus guest attended Busshari, thanks SD Marketing Global and Washoku Lovers.

Some meals in this post were independently paid for.

Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

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 😀

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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.

La grillade_Nessy Eater (22)

Rich Chocolate Mousse

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Porking it with SunPork Fresh Foods at STUDIO Sydney Tower

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Pork is such a magical meat that repeatedly satisfies most households across Australia. So the question that has been repeated most evenings is “What’s for dinner?”…With the help of SunPork Fresh Foods that is a Queensland based company aims to provide a tasty, healthy and convenient products to put that question to bed, once and for all.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (1)Seriously fresh food ingredients  

It was an exciting evening as Executive Chef Ashley Hughes cooked for 30 guests, including Sydney food media writers and bloggers. When SunPork Fresh Foods had a vision to take pork to new heights, they literally did, with an intimate media dinner at STUDIO Sydney Tower.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (3)STUDIO Sydney Tower view

I had to take a few deep deep breaths when I saw the prawn toast. It’s super tasty with pork belly rashers in Korean BBQ Sauce to the prawn mix. It’s hard not to miss the oven baked slices of almond because it was heavily covered with it. The combination of prawn and pork belly rashers sure makes a great couple.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (2)Prawn Toast

Another amazing canapé was the Moroccan beef pastille which showcase how crazy delicious the shredded beef with some classic Moroccan spices and sweetness is added then encased in some brik pastry. The pastry was lightly baked till it became crispy and let me tell you the texture was paper thin. To garnish it was served with a dollop of minted yoghurt. Oh I wouldn’t mind having some now…

SunPork_Nessy Eater (4)Moroccan Beef Pastille

Next up the Mushroom arancini arrives looking dangerously delicious. It was my responsibility to grab one of these yummy suckers. It’s a true classic Italian dish that delivers shredded chicken, yes SHREDDED not minced. The chicken was folded through a couple of toss and turns in the risotto mix, then baptised with parmesan, parsley then rolled into bite size balls, crumbed and DEEP FRIED.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (5)Mushroom Arancini

SunPork_Nessy Eater (6)Chilling before we put our forks on some porks.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (7)WOAH! Gorgeous table setting

SunPork_Nessy Eater (8)Sunset view from STUDIO Sydney Tower

SunPork_Nessy Eater (9)And the #hashtags begins!

SunPork_Nessy Eater (10)This apple has Nessy Eater’s name on it!

SunPork_Nessy Eater (12)Start off with a cube of focaccia bread.

The sung choi bao that consists of shredded pork with ginger, garlic, onion, water chestnuts and bean sprouts was calling my name and while the piece was not as massive as I imagined, however it was decent in flavour. The slabs of tender pork was in there but it just so happened to be hiding in the witlof.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (13)Sung choi bao

Pairing oh so heavenly well with the sung choi bao was the crispy Asian salad with an Earth shattering crackle encasing and tucked underneath super juicy and tender porky flesh. Crispy crackling skin was succulent and we could tell it was carefully cooked well. Just look closely at the inward shot of that skin…hmmmm..hmmm. Yep there’s tossed salad of pickled carrot, coriander, cucumber and a Thai Nam Jim dressing buried underneath that FAT piece of meat. There was a little spice in flavour for this babe and sure won my tastebuds with that kick to this dish.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (14)Crispy Asian Salad with Pork Belly

SunPork_Nessy Eater (15)Another glimpse of Sydney, isn’t it beautiful?

Some tastyness can be traced in the orecchiette that contains pork belly rashers, fresh peas, basil and mint. HOLY MOLY! It was satisfying to the point I had to get my focaccia bread and scrape off the creamy sauce from the bowl. This was truly well put together and the herbs were so fresh it waffled across the other side of the room.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (16)Pork Belly Rashers

Most freaking amazing dish was the organic porcini mushroom risotto. It took me a few moments to stop inhaling that truffle and I can confirm I had a few awkward stares at the table as if I was high on something…teehee. Besides the prized truffle the Earthy porcini mushrooms and shredded pork was truly decadent with the creamy traditional risotto.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (17)Organic porcini mushroom risotto

After a short discussion about the SunPork’s super meat feast there comes the slow cooked pork belly. My body was so use to being used by pork belly and I have no problem with that whatsoever. The serving of the slow cooked pork belly was served with spiced carrot puree, roasted Dutch carrots, apple gel and kale chip. Such a simple dish that I can properly give it a crack at it. The acidity of the apple did help cut the acidity of the slow cooked pork and woohoo to the crispy kale chip, you nailed it.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (19)Slow Cooked Pork Belly

For our final savoury dish we were introduced with the sweet and spicy BBQ pork ribs with potato bake and a wedge of chargrilled lemon. I couldn’t keep this off my mind because of that smokey flavour. It was surprisingly delicious and Sydney Tower Head Chef Ashley Hughes even admitted that “the smokey flavour from the ribs didn’t come from him, it’s purely from SunPork products“. This homely-stylish dish was served with a sophisticated potato bake that contains layers of thinly sliced potato, parmesan cheese, caramelised onion and a herbed cream.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (20)BBQ pork ribs

Finally we got to see Sydney Tower Head Chef Ashley Hughes in person and he gives us an insight of what he thought about SunPork Fresh Foods products. Chef Hughes mentioned he took his inspiration from some of his favourite pork meals and the products are easy to use because all the slow cooking, the marinating have already been done.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (11)Sydney Tower Head Chef Ashley Hughes talks with SunPork Fresh Foods Marketing Manager Mary-Jane Knudsen.

And moving on to dessert we each devoured our mini lemon tarts that included gourmet lemon filling in a round soft biscuit-pastry shell. Indeed super refreshing with that hint of zestiness and looks pretty darn good.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (21)Mini lemon tarts

We couldn’t just leave with one dessert in our second stomach and so chocolate truffles makes the first move on us with that oh oH OH so fine chocolate coating. As I bite into that chocolate case a gush of creamy ganache centre flows out like a river. Can you imagine that ganache? 😛

SunPork_Nessy Eater (22)Chocolate truffles

With society having less time to spend in the kitchen these days, SunPork Fresh Foods have done all the hard work by providing products like shredded meat range, to ribs and all-time favourite, pork belly into pre-prepared meals that help hit with time poor and health conscious people. As SunPork Fresh Foods Marketing Manager Mary-Jane Knudsen said “These pre-prepared ranges are dispelling some of those myths and showing people how easy pork is to cook and enjoy”.

SunPork_Nessy Eater (23)Fantastic way to end the SunPork Fresh Foods event was looking at this spectacular Sydney view.

Photos by Vanny Tang

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended as a guest thanks to KDPR. Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

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