Nessy Eater Sydney Food Blogger

Date with Vue De Monde at Rialto Towers |Melbourne

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You may have seen the acclaimed Australian Executive Chef Shannon Bennett earlier this year and that’s because his appeared on MasterChef Australia with his mouth watering and nasty surprise: the theatrical warm chocolate and orange mousse from Bistro Vue. Bennett who is one of the world’s most talented chef at his restaurant Vue De Monde is widely recognized as one of Australia’s top 100 fine dining venues and most impressively it is situated at level 55 of Melbourne’s iconic Rialto building. 

For a price tag of $200-250 per person for the gastronomes menu and a commitment to have the wine pairing as well, ranging from $30+ per glass is only appropriate. Ahh, this review is going to be long because the food is too good. Continue reading and you may drool. Just a little as each dish really plays on your mind.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (1)

We start off with compressed apple crisps with macadamia pureé. The crisps were a perfect crunch. It contained a nutty and sugary taste that seemed like a crime to eat with the compressed macadamia puree being intense. You’ll be nuts not to eat this because it almost tasted somewhat like Kettle chips, but only in a “healthier” form.

As far as first impression goes, two thumbs up.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (3)Compressed apple crisps & macadamia pureé

From this point onward, the menu was on fast-forward mode.

With no menu in front of me, Vue De Monde decides to keep it all mysterious or perhaps YOLO style. Our next snack was the pine smoked salmon pearls. I had absolutely no regret eating the colourful mini vegetable garden on a plate with that heavenly intense burst of flavour from the salmon pearls. It was impossibly difficult to pretend I didn’t like this dish.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (5)Middle: Pine smoked salmon pearls

I may have studded when I devoured the CANDY COATED smoked eel with a bit of caviar sprinkled on top and tucked underneath, white chocolate. I had immense fear this would vanish quickly and I was right. I enjoyed the savoury flavour and light candy crunch, but what was mind-blowing was that delightful buttery taste coming from the chocolate. I completely lost my mind…

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (4)Smoked eel, white chocolate, caviar

Next on the entrée menu the BBQ lamb heart and duck tongue with a dash of pepper. I was utterly shocked to see these quirky parts of the animal in the menu, but that didn’t stop me from eating it. I wasn’t expecting this to be super impressive with that generous amount of caramelisation and light smokey smell, but after one bite it changed my perspective. I loved it. To accompany these BBQ meat I had to order a glass of NV Charles Heidsieck ‘Brut Reserve’. This bubbly had its own personality with fresh floral notes.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (8)Top right to bottom right:  BBQ lamb hearts, Duck tongue w mountain pepper

Left: NV Charles Heidsieck ‘Brut Reserve’, Reims, France

Soon after that oysters arrived with a citrus taste. They were fresh and creamy, just the way I like it, classic and simple.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (9)Oyster

Just when I was so convinced that the snacks were over, here comes a massive piece of Himalayan pink salt rock and as a bonus we get front seats watching thick slices of salt-cured Flinders Island wallaby being rolled up at our table.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (6)Prepared at the table 

The wallaby was pretty damn good with a drop of green herb puree. It almost had the same texture as a tuna sashimi, but slightly tougher and leaner. But yeah more of the wallaby would’ve been good because everything tastes better with pink salt rock.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (7)Salt cured wallaby

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (10)Vue De Monde’s open kitchen

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (11)At this point I realise that each of those rocks  were hand-crafted.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (12)Felt like I was eating with the Royal Family with these cutlery.

Now can we start on the first course? 😀 😀

The Spanish mackerel with cylinder potato filled with chicken puree and on top a teaspoon of caviar was simply perfect. The square piece of fish was fresh and succulent. My goodness the light crust was enough for a crunch but not enough to take over the entire dish. Now the quince sauce offered a sweet balance and tied together beautifully with the thinly sliced potato.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (14)Spanish mackerel, potato, chicken, caviar

I had no clue where the chef came from, but I was so excited to watch first-hand what he was preparing for me next. The chef explains to us that we are having Blackmore wagyu.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (15)

I know I am having meat…

Fast-forward a minute later and it’s just oh so right watching wagyu being cooked like that. VDM knows how to serve me well. Medium rare please chef.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (16)Blackmore Wagyu “steak & onions”

So okay, yes I was drawn to this dish and it wasn’t just because VDM served wagyu…*rolls eyes*. I hearted that meat with the sauce which had the right amount of tenderness and were balanced out with the smoky scent in the air with a hint of pepper. Besides that piece of meat the garden greens looked astonishing.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (17)Adding the final touches

Baby I lost my breathe at my first bite of the wagyu. I just couldn’t keep up after that. I particularly liked the texture and I wish I could have a larger portion.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (18)Medium rare is just the way I like my meat

Not sure if you can handle this but this has got to be the best theatre experience I have ever had for pallet cleansing. You can’t go wrong with a bit of science especially when it’s liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen was poured into a bed of wood sorrell and this instantly snap-freeze the ingredients.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (19)Cucumber, wood sorrel

We were then asked to pound into fine pieces then a scoop of cucumber sorbet was spooned in. The result was freaken astonishing. Definitely super refreshing and no signs of it being tooth achingly. This dish was amazing and would return for that alone.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (20)Cucumber, wood sorrel

The kitchen sent us a small black leather pouch and in it contained a warm loaf of sour dough bread and to accompany hand churned butter. Somehow this just made my soul feel all fuzzy. I had no regrets covering my slice of bread with butter, NO REGRETS! As expected the butter was silky soft.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (21)Sour dough and house made butter

Excuse me but I think there seems to be a mistake. I didn’t order breakfast. In continuation of this mysterious menu, we were served with eggs on toast! Oh how I cannot resist this, especially when you can serve it with a glass of 2006 Louis Roederer Cristal champagne. I think this is called Champagne Breakfast“. And that kids is how VDM will spoil you for breakfast.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (22)“Champagne Breakfast”

This dish was TOP of my list at VDM because the textures were incredible and satisfied my tastebuds. That duck yolk and drizzle of truffle sauce did not disappoint. The crunch of the saltbush plus paper thin toast had my head spinning. It’s crazy rich, but you will not reach the overwhelmingly sick stage. Round 2, thanks!

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (23)Duck yolk, pear, truffle

OOOOZY!!! Oh how I love a good runny yolk, soooooo creamy and so heavenly deeeeeeeelicious! Gotta love me some calories. Get that calorie action game face on!!!!

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (24)

I don’t think you understand…this duck yolk belongs to me. 

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (25)Butter time!

Our next course was the three way marron. I had high hopes for this and I am glad it delivered. And while you are living the high life you might as well sneak in a glass of 2013 Bourgogne Chardonnay Domaine Paul Pernot. This wine maintains a great balance between fresh citrus notes and the lively acidity.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (26)Three Way Marron

The marron was super juicy, like, fully JUICY! I tell you this course was just pretty darn addictive. I smothered the marron into the super silky brown butter like full on. This baby marron has got to be right up there on my favourite fine dining course ever! I was pleasantly surprised how well the three way marron married so well together.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (27)Top left to bottom left: Brown butter, Marron & Marzipan

You know what’s perfect about this marron sandwich? EVERYTHING! Saving the best to last was an excellent idea. Not a single crumb was left behind and we all know that’s a really good sign. This delicate piece of sandwich required to be eaten with the hands and there may have been some finger-licking in between, so be prepared.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (28)Marron sandwich

OH NO! Savoury course is almost over and to be frankly honest, food coma had already been activated, but that didn’t stop me from appreciating the next dish. Ox tongue with beetroot and bone marrow sure opened new doors of discovering something adventurous. Greeted with a white powdered creme fraiche that visually looked dry but as soon as it lands on your tongue it instantly melted like a snowman that was under the sun.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (30)Ox tongue, beetroot, bone marrow

I had a bit of trouble trying to find the ox tongue but as soon as you scoop a tiny portion into your mouth there’s an enormous amount of meaty, creamy flavour laced with shreds of beetroot. Add a glass of 2010 Joh Jos Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese and you get a remarkable flavour.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (31)Can you spot where the ox tongue?

By now I mentally imagined I had gotten up and walked off the calories that I just digested. I did say mentally. Teehee. Helllllo butternut with sunflowers and passionfruit. This isn’t your ordinary pallet cleanser as I never heard these combinations before. Crunchy crushed sunflowers says howdy to my teeth with burst after burst of butternut and passionfruit flavour.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (32)Butternut squash, sunflower seeds, passionfruit

They tasted like summer with the fresh sweet fruity taste of the passionfruit. Sydney needs more of these nice light dessert to end the meal with.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (33)A ball of happiness

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (34)Spotted the cheese trolley!!! Say CHEEEEEESE.

I should have probably invested in 15 pairs of granny pants because I felt so overweight that I would require someone to roll me out of here. The goat’s milk with blueberries and fennel was welcomed to our table. Topped with sugary crystal that you could easily break with a spoon and the texture was sooooo fine with the similarity of a panna cotta times creme brulee that was served cold.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (35)Goat’s milk, blueberries, fennel

How can you decline chocolate soufflé when you get to witness the icing in action on your table? This dusting was going on for a solid 10 seconds. Shame it had to stop…

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (36)DARK Chocolate soufflé

BELLY SATISFYING souffle I have come across. I was not quite sure how I managed to finish this dessert but I did. It was light and fluffy with a knock in the face dark chocolate and an oozy molten chocolate centre.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (38)

To celebrate the end of our degustation a selection of petit-fours arrived. Get ready to BREATHE HEAVY. It’s nothing you’ve seen before. These salted caramel chocolate seashells had me eyes tripping. With sprinkled salt added to them I honestly couldn’t spot which one was the edible ones. AHHH sugar gods why weren’t the rest of those shells be made out of chocolate?!

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (39)salted caramel chocolate seashells

We were offered jelly pennies and I liked the novelty but the taste wasn’t how I pictured. There’s a teeny wenny sign of alcoholic flavour but hardly noticeable, with a hint of sweetness made with it.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (40)Jelly pennies

Have you ever had menthol lollipops? For me this was my first time ever and there was rarely any actual menthol flavour, which is alright for me. Served frosted I digged the presentation more then the flavour. It looked incredibly kawaii. I seriously thought it was a cherry. VDM fooled me again! *applause*

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (41)Menthol lollipop

The famous cherry lamington was impressive. I can’t describe how wrong was I to believe yet again what you see is not what you get. This lamington was leaning towards a mousse cake and that cherry brings everything all together.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (42)Cherry lamington

ZOMG! Our degustation is finally over. Before I left the VDM building to head straight to the airport and catch my next flight back to Sydney, we were given a mini tour and we had to stop here to look at this spectacular view.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (43)This is what the view looks like at Vue De Monde.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (44)Yeah we are on level 55!!!

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (45)Tiny bubbles…

I seriously didn’t expect to visit Vue De Monde in my final hours in Melbourne. Did I mention I ran straight to the airport to catch my next flight home to Sydney after eating this degustation. I now know the meaning of gastronome. I am belly satisfied 😀 😀 😀

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (2)Woo-hoo I can finally tick this off my bucket list!!!!

Just when the fat foodie gang were about to walk out of there, we were given a really awesome surprise package for the “next day”. It’s hard to forget Vue De Monde when they shower you with more food on your way out.

What I truly loved about this experience was the creativity for every single dish that was served to us, the exquisite service and food combined with high theatre. OH and the goodie bag on my way out, which I highly recommend every other fine-dining places should have because adults still act like kids and this big kid loves little surprises, especially when it contains food.

Vue De Monde_Nessy Eater (46)“For the next day” – brioche, honey, digestives, granola & tea

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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Bacon All The Rules at Cuckoo Callay Festival

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It must be true love that I am not a vegetarian because of bacon. No one else can break my heart like bacon can. I admit all my problems go away when there’s bacon right in front of me. So if you need a bacon fix maybe it’s time to bacon-ing your way to Cuckoo Callay. For 12 weeks they’ve created something astonishing for Newtown that no café has ever done in Sydney. It’s called BACON FESTIVAL. It’s for real, BACON FESTIVAL exists and you don’t want to go bacon your own heart if you missed out. If you totally HEART BACON like I do, you properly wondered off and I bet you are open to seduction as soon as you see that glossy piece of juicy bacon. I know it’s the sweet smells and varied pinkish colours, but that doesn’t mean you are not in control.

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (1)Pigging it out at Cuckoo Callay

And the Bacon Festival goes like this…

What a Croque of Bacon ($19) that tried to control me with its loooooooooooonnng strips of bacon and basil. Then when I closely looked into the vintage cheddar croquettes I was drunk by its diced pieces of bourbon bacon, pea puree and two poached eggs with that gooey sunrise yolk. If you want to know how to make a bacon lover smile, then this is it my friends. A dusting of breadcrumbs on the croquettes really makes this dish sing. It’s the crispy croquettes center filling that opens new flavours as the effects of bourbon bacon is deeply aromatic.

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (2)What a Croque of Bacon ($19)

What about that sexy long bacon strip? Well…there was a silent treatment at our table, so I’m not too sure what everybody was thinking, but for me, I was so high I didn’t recognise the fire that was burning in people’s eyes when I snatched the larger strip. Obviously full of flavour so that was pretty damn tasty!

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (3)You so fine bacon stripe! And oozy egg yolk inward shot.

Next up I may have ordered Shake ‘n’ Bacon ($9)! Super AMAZING and totally worth building up my calcium intake. Teehee. Can’t go wrong with bacon plus maple syrup, although the sweet syrup was glued at the bottom making a sudden burst of intense sugariness. Overall there’s so much DELICIOUSNESS hidden in this mason jar.

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (4)Shake ‘n’ Bacon ($9)

Can’t go wrong with awesome maple-caramelized bacon, right? I think this bacon milkshake is shouting “drink me!”.

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (5)Bacon sprinkles on me Shake ‘n’ Bacon *SCREAMS*

Rules for a happy relationship with bacon is getting the Bacon All the Rules ($24) dish. This is one engaging plate that is only suitable for happy pigs and inner oinkers to run wild. Every component on this dish is lip smacking and appealing to not share with your partner in crime. We start off with Black Forest Smokehouse maple bacon and bourbon bacon that floated happily atop. Next we dissected that fatty chunk of bacon steak that was really appetising that I had to go for seconds. OH! And whoever came up with bacon sausage is uber insane, yet one hell of a genius. You know you want it before anyone else can get it. It tasted absolutely perfect that there was no flaws about this sausage at all. I loved the bite-size pieces of bacon inside the sausage and saltiness was just right. All that bacon madness is also served with bacon-crumbed poached eggs with sourdough. This is one dish on the menu that you won’t go home hungry or disappointed. If you’re looking for a jam-packed bacon session, then this is it!

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (6)Bacon All the Rules ($24)

Need to wash all that bacon down? Why not give this Bloody Bacon Cuckootail ($14) a go! It’s insanely mixed with tomato juice, tabasco, salt, pepper and a shot of vodka. I was so out of breath when I sipped this cocktail. The level of spiciness is somewhat high for a person who does not often eat much spices. I spy with my eyes I see a strip of bacon and slices of pickles.

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (10)Bloody Bacon Cuckootail ($14)

Only one thing can make a hot dog on a summer afternoon better and that’s if it’s stuffed with maple glazed bacon sausage with gruyere cheese sauce, tomato and quince relish, crackling and dill mustard pickles. Ya I’m describing the Bacon Dawg ($16)!!! I was prepared but I think I didn’t prepare enough for this dawg. The thing about this is it did quite fit together. It was a little overwhelming with the sprinkles of crackle and relish as well as the dill mustard. Totes superior brunch eats.

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (11)Bacon Dawg ($16)

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (13)Smashed that bad boy!

Look what we have here… Don’t Go Bacon My Heart (NOTE: these babes were sample sizes) and OHMYGAWD these are unforgettable. I was incredibly happy when these kids size burger landed on the palm of my hand. The savory beer and tomato chutney, mustard aioli and slaw on brioche added another inch of flavour. Yes not healthy, but I’ve got my game face on! Without a doubt the popcorn chicken and beer candied bacon was noticeable. Hmmm it was the right ratio of chicks and pigs.

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (14)Don’t Go Bacon My Heart

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (15)You know you want this. Teehee.

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (16)Woah! This brioche is stuffed with a lot of meat.

By now I needed granny pants, if possible the XXXL ones. The amount of food coming in one after the other was fit for a King and Queen. So when Bacon, Get in Ma Belly ($20) arrived looking oh so scrumptious I had to do what was right, continue nomming. Lucky I followed my heart because the pork belly with fennel seed sauce with bacon, caper, coriander and lime salad was off the chain insane. Combine with a bowl of white rice would have been lovely. I was nervous when I attacked the slices of candied sweet chilli because between you and me I don’t normally touch chilli, but I did tell Michael from I’m Still Hungry that I will be practising my chilli levels this year. Wish me luck! Anyways back to that chilli…far out it was ADDICTIVE! I had such courage to even pop a few more slices in my mouth. It was seriously hotter than my first date. The one thing which lost some points would be the crackling skin, it was moist. There were signs of crispiness however the texture didn’t meat it. It must be the troubled Asian fusion flavour sauce that drowned the crispy skin crackle. Haha.

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (17)Bacon, Get in Ma Belly ($20)Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (18)That pork. Full Stop.

Here’s a morning breakfast for you to enjoy with your partner yourself; Ya Bacon Me Crazy ($20). This type of love is not rational, it’s 100% physical. Don’t cry if your calories start to sky rocket because every bite is seriously worth it. The caramel and cinnamon ice cream was heavily guarded by three handsome strips of maple bacon that’s drenched in maple syrup and chocolate coated bourbon bacon. Tucked underneath you can see the buttermilk waffles and MORE house-made bacon. Man, I love what you do but you know that you’re toxic, right? 😛

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (19)Ya Bacon Me Crazy ($20)

I told you I wasn’t kidding about the chocolate coated bourbon BACON SOILDERS heavily securing the caramel and cinnamon ice cream. PICTURE PROOF!

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (20)Bacon’s looking streaky, I LIKE! :p

Boy I needed another session of washing down all that tasty bacon, so I opted for Smokey Bourbon Bacon with fresh apple juice ($12). Sadly I couldn’t really taste the bacon, instead the sourness of the apple juice. But that’s cool I needed something refreshing to bring me back to Earth from this CRAZY BACON FEAST.

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (21)Smokey Bourbon Bacon with fresh apple juice ($12)

Introducing Drizzle Sticks (NOTE: sample sizes) that knocks your socks off! *HEAVY BREATHING* Maybe the streaky bourbon bacon drizzled in chocolate and hazelnut thought it could hide from this mama, but I could smell that greasy bacon scent from miles away. Oh bacon you can’t stay away from me, we are meant to be. At first I wasn’t too keen on chocolate + bacon, BUT I’ve learnt not to judge a book by its cover.

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (22)Drizzle Sticks

Picture this no touching, no kissing AND no good loving with bacon will be so cold. Life wouldn’t be the same, I’m telling you. Without bacon fire will burn through your soul. So what’s holding you back to visit the Bacon Festival at Cuckoo Callay?

Bacon Festival_Nessy Eater (23)Oh Yeah!!! Got the BIG piece. 😀

Photos by Vanny Tang

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

Check out my other Cuckoo Callay post I did. Click here and here.

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

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Whitewater Restaurant- Right Opposite Manly Beach

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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.

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (1)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.

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (2)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!

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (3)Kryptonite ($17)

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.

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (14)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!

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (5)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.

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (6)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!

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (7)Fish Tacos($17.95)

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.

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (8)Roasted Chinese Duck ($22.95)Whitewater_Nessy Eater (9)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_Nessy Eater (12)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.

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (10)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.

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (11)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_Nessy Eater (15)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.

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (4)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).

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (16)Strawberry Juice ($5.50)

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (17)Please don’t claw me Mr. Crabbie.
Whitewater_Nessy Eater (18)OH MY GOD! Seating booths…it’s leather alright.Whitewater_Nessy Eater (19)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…

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (20)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.

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (21)Ice-Cream ($13)

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!

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (22)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.

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (23)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.

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (24)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…

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (25)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.

Whitewater_Nessy Eater (26)It’s so packed at Whitewater on a weekend!

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater attended Whitewater Manly Restaurant thanks to Platinum Restaurant Group (opportunity provided by Excuse Me Waiter). Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Photos by Vanny Tang

Like to know more about Nessy Eater food adventures?

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Ormeggio at The Spit – Stressless Sunday Dinner with a view

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As happy as you may be to finally go back to work on a Monday, you may want to visit Ormeggio at The Spit on a Sunday. Just because you have a free afternoon doesn’t mean you should spend it at home. Since opening in 2009, Ormeggio has gained themselves Two Chef Hats in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide 2015 and it’s about time I visit this mystical land that they call “Stressless Sunday Dinner” in one of Mosman bay. It’s natural to hype up what you think $69 for 5 courses will be like in your imagination, but know that it’s probably the most cheapest meal I’ve been at by a hatted Italian restaurant. Think more “Great Gatsby” entrance when every dish arrives at your table.

Ormeggio_Nessy Eater (1)What a view!

To find oneself in a never-ending plight to live healthfully, this organic sourdough with homemade whipped ricotta is an excellent place to start. Applause for meeting all the Nessy Eater requirements as it was served very warm, which lured me to really enjoy the aroma of this freshly baked bread. The crust was my absolute favourite as it offered a mixture of textures of being crusty and at the same time chewy. As for the wholesome inside, expect it to be between fluffy and spongy. Very lucky this bread didn’t turn into a wheat-brick. And what about that whipped ricotta eh? It was the simplicity and creaminess that surprised me! I almost begged the waiter for another round of this creamy spread.

Ormeggio_Nessy Eater (3)Organic warm sour dough

This is no doubt green light dish or should I say a fantastic ocean trout appetiser with daikon, squid ink, mussels mayonnaise and dill. This is just one incredible presentation that I couldn’t believe I was about to devour. There was a lot of chopped omega 3 goodness in this and a lovely powerful dimples of sauce’s to create additional flavours. To stir the textures up the crunchiness of the dill brought a comfortable finish.

Ormeggio_Nessy Eater (4)Ocean trout

Ormeggio_Nessy Eater (4B)Yeah that was my ride on the left…KIDDING!

If you aren’t the kind of bid kid who takes joy in mixing the perfect martini then Pavoni martini ($22) is the one for you my friends. Something a little different and unexpected was this cocktail provides a bowl of olives, YES A BOWL OF OLIVES! This totally deserves an award for cocktail presentation.

Ormeggio_Nessy Eater (6)Pavoni Martini ($22)

Make sure you make stomach room for the strawberry mojito ($11)-it’s a non alcoholic mocktail glory. The sweet, juicy crushed strawberries are a perfect compliment to the lime and mint. It’s a great beverage when you’re in the mood for something fruity and what better way to beat the heat during summer.

Ormeggio_Nessy Eater (7)Strawberry Mojito ($11)

The tagliolini has got to come in a BIGGER size than a spoonful. I think I just confessed this dish was just super small for me. The pasta was fantastico-it provided the perfectly cooked strings of tagliolini that covered in a decadent mascarpone sauce and dusted with bottarga di pilu with a hint of lemon. The pasta was a perfect cradle for the sauce and a dusting of the bottarga (fish roe) really makes this dish sing. Fingers crossed next time I visit Ormeggio they offer upsizing this dish. I’ve put a lot of love eating this pasta and I wouldn’t mind doing it again for the second time.

Ormeggio_Nessy Eater (7B)Tagliolini

By now I was ready for bed but that didn’t stop me from eating the braised lamb which I like to add it was truly gorgeous in presentation, especially with the river of yogurt, tomato that looked like watermelon pieces, coriander and garam masala. The lamb easily produced a flavoursome and tender outcome, however there was a slightly extra flavour and smell of game, which kind of ruined it for me.

Ormeggio_Nessy Eater (8)Braised lamb shoulder

The greatest thing about pre-desserts is that you know there is another dessert coming up. Don’t be ashamed; take advantage of the opportunity of having two desserts! It’s an invitation to pamper yourself. Textures of passion fruit with coconut was all fun and games as it provided that sweet, smooth yet crunchy taste. Thumbs up for that palate-cleansing dish!

Ormeggio_Nessy Eater (9)Pre-dessert

Behold! Ormeggio’s signature dessert landed at our table and I can’t quite put my finger on how many carrots were used in the making of this dish. It is one of the all-time favourites, and for good reason. The carrot cake is between spongy and moist, but not mushy if that’s what you are thinking. The cake softens more when it’s dunked into the fennel ice-cream and with the farro it adds that extra kick to the dessert. What was intriguing about this dessert was the dollops of vinegar caramel. I know it sounds insane to have vinegar in your dessert, but it strangely blends well with the sweet caramel and provides a little zing feeling. 

Ormeggio_Nessy Eater (10)Carrot cake

Contemporary Italian cuisine is something I haven’t experienced before and I can finally tick that off, thanks to Ormeggio. I was certainly impressed with not only their food but hospitality as well. Staff knew what they were doing and was very knowledgeable with the menu and even the wine list. For a two hatted restaurant that offers an insane valuable dinner at $69 per person for 5 course meal with an ocean view, I think you’d be stressed not to visit on a Sunday.

Photos by Vanny Tang

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