Sydney blogger

Saké Restaurant – Sweet Japanese Snapshots

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WooHoo! It happened again…walking into a restaurant and skipping the entree, main and just jump straight into the SWEET DESSERT menu. Yes, we pretty much ordered the entire dessert list that Saké Restaurant at The Rocks have displayed. Feeling confused? Click here for my first time 7 sweet sins. Starting with the Miso Caramel Chocolate Fondant ($15) – A warm chocolate pudding with a miso caramel cream cent caramelized white chocolate ice cream. This irresistible rich chocolate dessert is for the most devoted of chocolate lovers. How do you ensure success on this fondant? Well, it’s absolutely fabulous when it’s served hot and intense with a meltingly soft gooey centre. If you want to combined it with something a bit lighter, a little more sophisticated then scoop it along with ice cream. There is a way you have to eat chocolate and this is the way! Sake (5)

Miso Caramel Chocolate Fondant ($15)

For sweet kawaii indulgence, try Caramel Koi Pond ($16) – It is white chocolate and milk chocolate “koi” fish filled with yu miso caramel with shortbread respectively, served with a chocolate and green tea ganache. I love that the koi pond had different types of coloured chocolate fish. This dish totally works as the fish shaped chocolates melts on your tongue and reaches different mild and sweet cocoa flavours. It produces an aroma when it begins to melt and once the piece slowly disappears, a nice crumbly crunch to finish it off. It’s like passion in your mouth, so yes, it’s CHOCOLATE GOODNESS alright. As for the blue pond, it’s an amazing wobbly jelly. Sake (1)

Hey there… Caramel Koi Pond ($16)

The Yuzu Soufflé ($15) with the tropical fruit elements were an eye opener. This steamed soufflé with fresh rock melon and coconut is impossibly delicate and moist, like an airy cheesecake topped with a shiny silky sweet curd. If you examine closely the curd naturally separates at room temperature and creates a fun two-tiered textured dessert. This soufflé may appear lumpy but one spoonful of this result to a texture that is super smooth, pillowy and doesn’t seem to fail us.

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Looking bright there Yuzu Soufflé ($15)

There’s a reason why people always end with green tea desserts. If you count yourself as a fan of green tea then the wait is over, don’t hesitate to order the Saké signature dessert, Green Tea Kit Kat ($14) – The green tea flavour is accompanied with layered Valrhona milk chocolate crunch. Beyond the white chocolate and green tea ganache is chocolate wafer. For decoration cherry jelly. Atop, a scoop of  earl grey tea ice cream. This is truly one impeccable double sized kit kat. What starts off as quite a pleasant rich smooth flow of flavours develop into an interesting introduction of the sleeky sticky cherry jelly, following the melting scoop of earl grey ice cream. This is heaven on your tongue for the green tea fanatics because the natural flavours has the aroma spot on. A sweet first bite followed by a refreshing bitter tea after-taste is obviously some kind of sign that this dessert needed to be reviewed, right? Hehe. Sake (7)

Bathe me in green tea baby! Green Tea Kit Kat ($14)

It can be pretty hard to shake that kind of dessert imagery out of your head when it comes to “naughty” food, one’s mind automatically turns to desserts. It can’t just be only me, right? 😛 Overall, Saké displays stunning desserts, particularly the Green Tea Kit Kat and Caramel Koi Pond, allowing guests to gain a better insight into Japanese sweet flavours. My next visit to Saké should be at the sushi bar, but I have to first TRY avoid the dessert menu till after my main meal. Tehehehehe

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Four Friends Cafe, Crows Nest – Not a Typical Sweet Life

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It’s not every day you hear miracle stories such as the ability to overcome a life stopping and threatening disease called Scleroderma. It was the presence of her unexpected third child that gave her the strength and love to fight through this rare disease.  Katze, the owner of Four Friends Cafe, who before opened  an organic cafe in Artarmon for over five years decided to shift to something much more sweeter, handmade chocolates after surviving Scleroderma.

What is different about Four Friends Cafe and the rest of the chocolate shops?  Well, from a traditional Buddhist story about four animals (elephant, bird, monkey and bird) that shares a common interest in working harmoniously together towards a happier life. Katze recommends not eating sweets every day, but making time to put a bit of sweetness in your life once or twice a week. Overtime Katze has learnt to be an enthusiast of natural ingredients and organic growing products such as Fair Trade Cacao. She personally enjoys local goods as she has learnt to support small businesses during her struggle with her illness.

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Mighty Tall Macaron tower

Staying true to her values to organic ingredients, this self-taught chocolatier makes everything in her tiny kitchen using the finest ingredients, even though shelf life is short, however her determination is what makes Four Friends Cafe. It is upsetting Katze mentions how some people believe her products are not genuine Belgium chocolate and instantly assume her handcrafted chocolates are made from China because Katze is from a Chinese background, therefore less likely to purchase. It’s hard enough for a small business to keep running these days due to economy but to add discrimination and negativity, that’s SOOOO WRONG. It is disappointing there is humans out there who jump into conclusion without giving it a try first. Luckily, Katze managed to turn my frown upside-down by telling me about a 89 year old lady who caught 2 buses on a rainy day just to visit Four Friends after reading an article in the local paper.

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Did someone say CHO-COLATE?

This year for Christmas, Four Friends Cafe has announced they will be donating chocolates to 4 shelter homes. Though Katze really REALLY wish that one day she can donate to every single homeless homes and I wish the best of luck in accomplishing this goal.

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Hello Santa. 

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Organic Tea Leaves can be purchased in individual jars at Four Friends.

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Display of Organic Tea Leaves

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Round #2 of Organic Tea Leaves Display

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Upstairs Seating

Berry Fairy Teapot suppose to be served hot, but  the sun blasting its shine that day. So the lady suggested she can serve my teapot with ice. MY OH MY! There is an EXPLOSION of BERRIES in this teapot. This is a well -balanced drink that truly refreshes.

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Ice Berry Fairy Teapot ($4.50)

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Hot Rose Teapot ($4.50)

This delightful The Planet Tasting Plate ($28) including a pot of tea is completely OUT OF THIS WORLD, no doubt a generous tasting plate for one. Yes, for ONE PERSON. It offers 11 bite-size sweets including:

  • Green Tea Pistachio cake
  • Cherry Pistachio tart
  • Popping Kitty chocolate
  • Almond Truffles
  • Coffee Puff
  • Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut
  • Liquorice Macaron
  • Dark Chocolate Macaron
  • Almond Caramel with Coco Dust
  • Gingerbread Chocolate
  • Blackcurrant Macaron

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The Planet Tasting Plate ($28) including a pot of tea

This plate is perfect addition to your sweet tooth list as it contains only the finest and freshest organic ingredients with a HUGE hint of sweetness. Katze tells me The Planet Tasting Plate represents a multicultural partnership and to positively get along with one another because we all in ONE UNIVERSE. Let’s start with Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut – This mousse sure shows the meaning of the word nutty. You have to experience the unforgettable combination of chocolate and hazelnut. Its a sweet treat that can truly go along with a cup of coffee or tea.

When I first laid eyes on the Liquorice Macaron, I was very skeptical and I already pictured in my mind that this wasn’t going to disappointing for my tastebuds as I am not a huge fan of liquorice. Boy I would of been a sore loser if I hadn’t give this a go. Let me tell you this silver glittery coated liquorice macaron was the ONLY LIQUORICE I’ve EVER FINISHED. It’s odd to believe I’ve become a fan of a good liquoirice macaron. The liquoirice flavour isn’t overwhelming and contains plenty PLENTY of sweetness. I personally LOVE the presentation as it contains silver GLITTER.

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For the classic, the Dark Chocolate Macaron is always a sensational flavour that can never go wrong. A smooth rich ganache filling which is made with the finest Belgium ingredients. Now moving on to something fruity is the Blackcurrant Macaron – Flavours of blackcurrant take center stage in this creation.  

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When I started diving my fork into the Green Tea Pistachio cake, Katze jokingly tells me how another blogger described this cake to be a smooth soft souffle and let me just point out, it is not soft. Because of the premium flour she uses, this cake’s texture crumbles. If you are a green tea enthusiast, like me, you’ll relish every spoonful with intense flavour of green tea bursting out. In between the impeccable taste of this cake, a crunch you will look forward too is the pistachio.

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Green Tea Pistachio cake

Coffee Puff-A light puff pastry crust is filled with flavourful pipped swirls of coffee cream.

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Coffee Puff

I wanted to savor every bite of my Almond Truffles – A nutty kind of treat that can make you go instantly NUTS on your first bite. FYI, every single almond piece is covered chocolate truffle.

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Almond Truffles

ALMONDS gone wild! This Almond Caramel is HEAVILY dusted with Coco and is a perfect triumvirate of flavours.

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Almond Caramel with Coco dust

When I first saw the Popping Kitty, this automatically reminded me of Maneki-neko aka lucky cat figurine, however this one is completely edible. Teehee. I highly recommend you to eat this last as it comes with a twisted surprise. I can really detect the chocolaty flavours as well as the fizzy fireworks that constantly pops every single second in my mouth. A winning treat of mine as it reminds me of back in the days…Wizz Fizz Sherbet Candy use to be a popular demand in the 90’s.  Next an interesting take on Ginger Bread chocolate entails a taste you’ll have to try to believe with a unique flavour of gingerbread and chocolate experience. To celebrate Christmas, the chocolate on top stamped with printed Santa Clause.

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Popping Kitty and Ginger Bread chocolate

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Popping Kitty’s back

Wasn’t so much a fan of Cherry Pistachio tart as I believed it to be a tad sour however fresh cherry flaours accented by accents of cherry and a buttery shortbread biscuit base with sprinkles of pistachio on top.

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Cherry Pistachio tart

I have yet to try the Head Barista Jimmy coffees, who earlier this year won 3rd place in Pura Dairy Famers Latte Art Championships. I am extremely keen on what kind of art will be presented to me.

Inspirational things I’ve taken away from chatting with Katze, the owner of Four Friends :

  • Enjoy every moment of your life and be grateful about it
  • Support small businesses, you’ll be surprised what they offer
  • Slow down and take things one step at a time
  • Appreciate what is in your food and go for organic

Have a sweet tooth after reading this? Why not drop by Four Friends to relax over a cup of tea and before I forget, CHOCOLATE.

Disclaimer: Nessy Eater tasted The Planet Tasting Plate courtesy of Four Friends Cafe  (opportunity provided by polkadotPR). Opinions are however, Nessy Eater’s own.

Photos by Vanny Tang

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Devon Cafe- Sydney’s brunch kept secret

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Devon cafe is no stranger to the suburb of Surry Hills and is lead by two double trouble ex-Guillaume couple. One from Bistro Guillaume in Melbourne and the other Guillaume at Bennelong.  It is fascinating to see how this cafe is merged between casual laid back setting with a taste of fine dining. The cafe is bright and airy and we’re immediately welcomed by a friendly face the moment we stepped into their doors. I love their hospitality. Throughout our meals service is highly attentive.

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Gorgeous basket of fresh fruits adding a colourful flourish to the shared table.

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Fresh flowers makes any customer smile. 

I decided to start my day with one of their drink specialities that I found very interestingly unique is the COKE CHINO ($5.50) – Truly one wicked beverage that contains sparkling coke and a shot of strong espresso.  Its definitely a night owls best friend when it comes to super early mornings. You will be surcharged with full of energy in no time.

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COKE CHINO ($5.50)

Superbingly delicious is the ICE MOCHA ($6.50) – This mocha is perfect in terms of aromatic, deep rich intense flavour with a smooth consistency and a light sweet aftertaste. This is equally impressive as Circa Espresso in Parramatta.

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ICE MOCHA ($6.50) 

Beautifully presented is the OGRE ‘HAPPY MEAL’ ($21)–  There is a slight crunchy laciness around the edges to the fried egg, its yolk still runny. The golden cube hash potatoes deep fried surface is crunchy and moist. The tender ox tongue so simple yet so good, with the flavour of the cauliflower puree and crunchy fried pickled onions really coming through in this dish.

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Well hello there close up shot.

The perfectly indulgent dish is the BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA’S ($24.50)– A glorious colourful summer dish that is still currently on their menu due to popular demand. The miso grilled king salmon is just too good it can be served on its own. It is incredibly smooth , light, fresh and wonderfully flavoured. Cutting little chunks off with a knife makes it even more eager for what is next to come. With the kewpi mayonnaise droplets adds a whole new flavour to the dish. This decadent dish also include smoked eel croquette that is coated in breadcrumbs.

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For the 63 degree egg, it seductively oozes out slowly, adding a yolky sauce to the dish. With the yolk being a bright sunset orange with a creamy texture. I would’ve considered ordering additional egg. Its amazing what a 63 degree egg can do to someones emotions, especially when it is prepared for an hour in a sous vide aka water bath.

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Miso grilled salmon– A harmonious marriage of decadent fresh flavors.

And if you sense a guilt trip whilst eating , don’t worry the radish petit salad knows how to disguise itself as being healthy. This dish is generously oozing with yolky goodness!

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 Radish petit salad

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Inside of smoked eel croquette.

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This dish is so good you’ll want to order it again. Just look at that yolk puddle.

Aside from their savoury dish, GONE BANANAS ($16) is absolutely a real treat to end all meals. You may curse aloud when you taste this soft buttery banana pancake splashed with heavily caramelised palm sugar syrup set aside with pieces of half sliced banana fritters that is deep fried golden on the outside and deliciously hot and gooey in the center. At the same time briefly dunk the pancake in the pandan ice cream and there you have it, an episode of gone bananas expression appearing whilst you devour this dish.

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“Cry me a pandan river”.

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Each bite delights with rich banana flavours and sweet palm sugar syrup.

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This guy makes the best coffee at Devon.

So does the hype of Devon match the reality? Happily can nod my head and scream out “IT SURE DOES”.

Devon offers a lot of luxury in their menus and I am overjoyed to see what they have installed for my next visit. I seriously can’t stop talking about the BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA’S dish! Its a perfect excuse to roll out bed.

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Photos by Vanny Tang

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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