Nothing beats a waterfront view on lovely sunny day. I drove to Balmoral Beach one weekday and dined at Public Dining Room. Considering it’s location and view we scored ourselves a spectacular window-side table facing the beach. This was a pretty good deal if you don’t mind me rubbing it in. Teehee. I noticed some people brushed off the sand on their feet and waked in to the restaurant. Talk about casual beach feel that makes me feel right at home already. There is one thing you shouldn’t expect at this restaurant and that’s fish and chips. Public Dining Room is not only popular for its location but also their presentation in their fancy meals.
Fancy lunch time
Public Dining Room
I always get excited when FREE rye sourdough arrives at our table. With a thick square of creamy super soft butter and a little bowl of sea salt for the table to share.
Complimentary slice of soft rye bread
Those fat juicy seared scallops ($26) were so fresh that they could have still swam. Teehee. They were seriously tender and lovingly plated with the crisp jamon serrano, pea puree and goats curd. Take one mouthful and you’d be quickly convinced to have another. For the delicate pea puree it wasn’t overwhelmingly rich and was a perfect match with the paper thin salty jamon serrano.
Fat juicy scallops come to Mama!
It took us a while to nibble through the duck terrine ($22) with house made fig chutney, watercress and foie gras. The generous slices of crostini was very helpful to balance out the overwhelming flavour of the terrine and added a crisp texture. I found this dish to be a very interesting presentation and reminded me of a forest. Mother nature was calling me to eat this forest!
What the duck? It’s Terrine.
Mocktail ($10) arrives looking all fabulous and coral pink. With a mix of pineapple, apple, cranberry and a squeeze of fresh lime. I think the lemon does lift and lighten the beverage.
A unique flavor experience was the fried zucchini flowers ($24) that came fresh from the fryer with stuffed ricotta, parmesan, papillon roquefort that was deliciously gooey and soft. The celeriac and cabbage remoulade with the sprinkles of pangrattato was equally impressive and seasoned to perfection.
Fried zucchini flowers ($24)
Crispy Pork belly ($26) was my favourite dish, the porky skin was so crisp that they were quickly munched down for an extreme hit of pork flavour. To accompany the meat we had generous dollops of apple sauce. Slices of apple, strands of savoy cabbage and woodland sorrel to decorate made this dish look super healthy. Close enough!
Bursting with intense flavours and alluring aromas was the Tasmanian pasture fed eye fillet ($46) – The most tender of all steaks must be paired well with the massive pieces of king brown mushroom, roasted globe artichoke, mustard cress and a drizzle of brown onion jus. I could taste the long-lasting flavours of the eye fillet and mushrooms. The steak was lightly greased and it was all so very good.
I’m eyeing on you fillet.
Do I need to mention to you how tender the steak was? That thick juicy piece of meat may as well have been made out of butter. Hmmm medium rare is just the way I like it.
Eye-eye Captain Fillet.
Would you believe this is the view from our table? The atmosphere was so peaceful and relaxing at the same time. It felt like a get-away. If you enjoy this view then I totes recommend you to ask the staff to be seated next to the window.
What a Beach! Balmoral Beach
You’ll die and go to heaven with every bite of the Valrhona chocolate textures ($19). Decadently rich in chocolate with the bitterness of dark chocolate, the texture remains deliciously light and creamy. It’s the type of dessert you savour slowly with a glass of cold milk or tea or coffee as the intensity of chocolatey madness slowly builds on your palate.
You deserve this Valrhona chocolate textures ($19)
Meet and greet this chocolate bar with your fork. The crushed hazelnut pieces were incredibly tasty along with the smooth chocolate sensation. I’m GUILTY of eating this.
So many pretty textures in this Valrhona chocolate
If you’re looking for a tasty fruity dessert, try this sensational Mango and lychee bombe alaska ($18). The toasted meringue was heavily contained with a coconut crumble base and secured by green mango droplets . This beautiful merinague tastes as great as it looks, so fluffy and airy. I give this a gold medal for presentation of because if you look closely, you’d see it’s handcrafted with swirls.
Mango and lychee bombe alaska ($18)
I’m sure my teeth were hurting from all the sugar goodness, especially this was our second dessert, but that didn’t stop me from devouring this precious dessert. My teeth felt so spoilt with the hidden ice-cream in the center. Each bite delights with sweet mango…hmmm refreshing. I am so pumped to have another bombe alaska right now.
With a lovely view and heart-warming service, Public Dining Room is a real highlight for a fancy lunch and or romantic dinner. If you’re super eager to check out the beach make sure you bring swimmers along because I heard it’s great to visit on a perfect Sydney beach day.
You’re the BOMBE!
Photos by Vanny Tang
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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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
Chilling before we put our forks on some porks.
WOAH! Gorgeous table setting
Sunset view from STUDIO Sydney Tower
And the #hashtags begins!
This apple has Nessy Eater’s name on it!
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.
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.
Crispy Asian Salad with Pork Belly
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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? 😛
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”.
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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The classic way to get food bloggers to come out is to pig out and what flawless way to do that is bacon our way to Swine & Co. (16 O’Connell St, Sydney). I rocked up with Amy from Milkteaxx , Isaac from ifat, Simone from SimiLicious, Lillian from Weekend Notes and 2 extra guests. Addictively, there were a few short pauses whilst we witness a piggy tip over charcoal and its ears would be flopping along with it as the pig gets spun around. I guess our meal had something to do with pigs…
Swine & Co. Menu
It’s not only pigs that gets the attention…what about a Charlie Chaplin ($14) to get you in the relaxing mood. The highlight of this cocktail is not the name itself but the mixes of lime juice, gin and apricot brandy definitely is a nice, gentle and sweet mix.
Charlie Chaplin ($14)
A nice start to every meal is getting distracted by a full sack of FREE BREAD served with a scoop of smooth butter and salt. Plenty to go around whilst we waited for our food. A selection of dark rye , lavosh, tall breadsticks and sourdough bread. It was so damn good I even managed to squeeze a few more breadsticks and lavosh into my belly towards the end of our meals.
Complimentary basket of bread
The black pudding with Harvey Bay Scallops ($22) were well played with foie gras, lime caviar and quinoa. The top coating of the black pudding has been lightly seared to crisp however inside remains warm, soft and juicy like sticky rice. Similarly the scallops add a amazing sweetness to the dish. In between little pops of lime caviar that looks like pink pearls would burst citrus liquid in my mouth to enhance the flavours. As for the quinoa, a highly nutritious grainy texture, making it a good balance.
Black Pudding with Harvey Bay Scallops ($22)
The Crispy Pig’s Tail ($19) appetiser served with pine purée, grapes, pickled mushrooms and pistachio completely impressed me with the large volume of crackling crunchiness and strong vinegary flavours to really give it a tangy kick. This dish may visually disguise itself with all green leaves but the flattened pig’s tail knows how to live up the roasted flavours. For me, the balsamic smell made me step away from this dish, however with the help of the porky fragrance it enhanced my experience with this dish.
Crispy Pig’s Tail ($19)
When the Tuna Crudo ($17) showed up to our table, all eyes paid close attention to the block of marble pink salt. On top, large chunks of fresh tuna and cubes of refreshingly juicy watermelon is a winning dish. Garnished with white anchovies, fried capers and drizzled with white balsamic dressing. If you’re curious to know the saltiness level of this dish…well it came across from the anchovies not from the slab of pink salt. Oh how I really wanted to take this glossy chunk of pink salt home. Yep, it would of been a perfect chopping board with the added saltiness to my ingredients. A very convenient method to add salt in your food. Teehee.
Tuna Crudo ($17)
I’m such a troublemaker when it comes to getting my hands on the Swine Smash ($14). Unfortunately dining downstairs don’t offer this gorgeous fruity mojito cocktail, therefore I had to rush upstairs to the bar and order it. But that’s ok because I’m a sucker for the sugarcoated pancetta that I hogged the entire evening. You really can go without the beverage and just order the candied pancetta on its own. I’d pig out for just that if I could, SERIOUSLY DELISH.
Swine Smash ($14)
Some people claim to dislike brussel sprouts, but they must have never tried Swine & Co.’s Brussel Sprouts ($12). There are a few tricks in this dish that makes it even more delectable. With blue lentils, fermented chilli and speck that gives it a well-seasoned smokiness to this side.
Brussel Sprouts ($12)
It was our duty to get the Pork Belly ($34) because we could barely hide our joy when the waitress described the crackling porky goodness on this dish. The top surface of the pork skin is hard to resist as it also contains an appealing layer of juicy fat and tender meat. The dish was even more inviting with a dollop of smooth creamy pumpkin puree and pepper jus, which I really wanted to have it all to myself. Also sautéed Tuscan cabbage and a piece of pork croquette that is exquisite.
Pork Belly ($34)
Feels like the party just started! It’s definitely the smell of the suckling pig that brought us here. We all fell silent as this dish landed on our table. Can you smell the fat and the crackling? Haha, I’m such a teaser 😛
Crowd favourite dish Pork Belly
In case your belly felt itchy for some sides then the bowl of Hand Cut Chips ($10) is a great pick. I’m always on the hunt for classic chips and these are the tastiest with a satisfying crunch with each bite. To make these chippies more fancy they included rosemary salt and additional aioli that will guarantee double dipping, whoops. Hehe.
Hand Cut Chips ($10)
It’s hard to be that perfect pig who can easily win peoples hearts but we noticed the Suckling Pig ($40) being carried out towards us showed ridiculous gold sheet of glazing crackle. Tucked underneath the puffy crackle was the meat itself that was heavenly tasty. Just observe closely at the glorious pieces of magical pork. You are allowed to bury the succulent meat in celery salt and stripes of baby fennel. The pig itself was wonderfully milk fed and sourced from Macleay Valley.
Suckling Pig ($40)
Pretty damn sure this is the best sexy suckling pig.
Which bottle of wine or weapon are you taking home?
ALL THAT PORK can really get your waistline expanding and I don’t mean to add crazy thoughts into that brain of yours. Everything is porky on a plate so you better make sure you’re not allergic to anything that’s related to pigs. A favourite beverage of mine is Swine Smash, it was fricken unbelievable! For all pork lovers it’s a must visit.
By the way, Nessy Eater has changed her look. I hope you readers don’t freak out too much about the layout or the colour. Let me know what you think. I thought it would be great for Nessy Eater to get out of the phase of grey and move onto something more bright. *Cries* This blog is growing up now and I’m feeling hungry 😀
Photos by Vanny Tang
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So what’s the reason for me being in Melbourne? Well, word on the street is that HOPETOUN TEA ROOMS is a place to hang with fresh organic fruity tea leaves made to order and high tea being its high demands, I had to give it a try, while I am around Melbourne at least.
Located in Melbourne’s CBD [CBD Block Arcade Melbourne Central, VIC 3000]. It wasn’t so hard to find because there is always a queue outside it’s little shop and most importantly, their cake display. Tourist to even local’s like myself would take out there phone’s , camera’s to d-SLR’s , just to make sure they get a picture with the yummy cakes displayed.
Luckily, the queue was short so didn’t have to wait too long. Approaching to my located seat a gorgeous a single sunrise tulip awaits at my table. Felt so lively after looking at it, even during whilst eating , I just kept smiling all through the end of my meal.
Ordered Fiji organic tea, which has green tea with papaya and wild pineapple and ice chocolate. FYI, when it comes to my iced chocolate it has to be a good ice chocolate, meaning not just milk and chocolate sauce. And boy this ice chocolate just blew my mind. Absolutely GOT TO TRY!
It was lunch time and the waitress informed us there is no high tea till after 3pm , therefore I ordered chicken liver parfait. I thought it be just a standard size portion, so once I finish I could just hop to another cafe, but no I was completely wrong.
I have never seen chicken liver main size portion’s to be that massive. It’s definitely shared between two people because I just shouldn’t finish it. But I must say it’s delicious. Someone kept stealing my pickled pear relish and I was saving it for the last. Also learnt to eat chicken liver with brie with toast. It’s really good, the spread of liver on the toast then add a spread of brie on top, it’s mouthwatering.
We hit Swanston Street and Flinders Street Station for awesome vibe and view and watched hipsters cruising by and tourist taking happy snaps in every different angle possible, this includes me as well.
Wandering down the Melbourne streets, it was already dinner time. I stumbled across a place called Captain Melville [34 Franklin St Melbourne, VIC 3000], were I heard from a birdie that there sliders are to die for. So without giving any thought walked into the bar and ordered Bannockburn Free Range Chicken Parmigiana served with Coleslaw and Hand Cut Chips, Pulled Pork Taquito, Western Plains Pork Belly times two and Soft Shell Crab Slider times one, however the bartender paused and casually asked ” You sure just one Soft Shell ? because I am positive you’d be fighting for it after the first bite”. I replied I think one would be fine. Again, I was wrong, my slider was gone after my first bite.
Patiently waiting for our orders to arrive I thought I’d celebrate by giving my taste buds a Dirty Granny Cider, quite refreshing after a tourist walk around the heart of Melbourne. The Pulled Pork Taquito had arrived coming out of baptised oil, it was still hot and crispy, I had to patiently wait till it cooled down, then demolish it, I did. Very Mexican dish I believe. It has a salsa taste to it and acidic flavor.
Next Soft Shell Crab Slider had been placed on my table because I only had ordered one for myself, I thought this slider would be all to myself. Well, apparently not. Word’s cannot and I mean cannot describe how good this slider was. My first bite of it, just felt like fireworks cracked in my mouth, my eyes instantly lit up. I honestly couldn’t stop thinking about slider for hours. In actual fact I wanted to order dozens of Soft Shell Sliders if I could because I’d swim in them all day. Before I know it, my dreaming was over, my slider was gone….. I was happy enough to have tried it.
Seconds later Western Plains Pork Belly came just in time to save me. The pork belly was crackling for every bite I had and the lettuce was fresh and crisp, just like Soft Shell Sliders, the meat itself was juicy and tender and the bun soft and fluffy just like Soft Shell Sliders. It was practically another tremendous creation Captain Melville has created.
By the time I finished these sliders my tummy was already stuffed, I had forgotten we also had ordered Bannockburn Free Range Chicken Parmigiana. Looking at it, off course I am not going to say no to food, not even my stomach can stop me from this. Was glad I tried it the chicken was moist even though it was bathed and fried in oil, it was overall marvellous. I hadn’t come across a chicken still moist and tender inside even though it’s been fried heavily. If you know a good Chicken Parmigiana in Sydney please let me know. Coleslaw so fresh , it brings out all the individual vegetable flavors itself. Hand cut chips so homie with added salt to give it seasoning, just ideal.