Friday, 28 November 2014

Candelori's, Fairfield

Candelori's is a posh Italian restaurant in Fairfield. It took me by surprise and the 72% like rate on Urbanspoon is on the mark. With a very reasonable large space; spanned with long tables of big groups lined with white tablecloth.

I'm not one to be too adventurous but my company was and cherished and enjoyed the lamb's brain  at $21 (above). The lamb's brain was crumbed, pan-finished with lemon butter, parsley and fried sage. I was more interested in the Zuchhini flowers that were stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach at $24. They were perfectly cooked with a bit of crunch and lemon. There were 4 pieces so that's $6 per zuchhini flower.

To share, I also ordered the woodfired capsicum (above) medley bruschetta on woodfired ciabatta bread at $12. The bread was beautiful and all the trimmings were tasty.

For Mains, I ordered the linguine marinara (above) which was the long thin pasta pan tossed with pomodoro, mussels, baby calamari, tiger prawns & vongole at $27.  It was a solid dish. The housemade gnocchi al pomodoro with goat’s cheese at $26 was consistent with what you would expect from a gnocchi.

I got good feedback on the ravioli of lobster, prawn, crab large ravioli filled with lobster, crab & tiger prawn; pan finished with cherry tomatoes, pomodoro, dash of cream, basil and virgin olive oil at $28.  The portion looked a bit small.

The stand out dish however agreed by all parties was.... the Cannelloni. Forget all the pasta mains! It was so very tasty. The $26 Cannelloni, consisted of di pollo flat sheet egg pasta folded with chicken breast, fior di latte mozzarella, grated aged parmesan and b├ęchamel, baked with tomato and basil.  It was jut a very simple but well executed dish that tasted amazing $26.  A definite recommend!

For dessert, I got consistent reviews for the Hazelnut Pannacotta which had ginger crumble, strawberries and toasted  hazelnuts. The special chocolate slice was OK too.

Prices: $25-30 for mains

Location: 685 Horsley drive, Fairfield

Candelori's on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Saigon Bowl, Strathfield

Saigon Bowl is a clean Vietnamese restaurant. The 65% like rating is probably right on the ball. I would say it's good but not amazing. At Saigon Bowl, you will have a lot of choice and the food is cooked well. 

So I would say this is a consistent eatery if you're in town and looking for some good cooked food. 
Above is the crispy noodle with beef and vegetables. I love crispy noodles and I love how the gravy softens the noodles.  There were large chunks (too large) of bok choy, carrot and beef that laid on top of the noodles. The spring rolls were ok. Nothing note worthy so I would suggest another entree if you have the choice.

I also had the marinated beef, which is accompanied with all the trimmings of mint, vermicelli noodles, vinegar soaked carrot and radishes. All these ingredients are prepared so you can roll them in rice paper. It was a nice dish. The meat was very flavoursome.

So overall, all the dishes were reasonably priced and all the dishes are well cooked. There was no complimentary tea like most other Vietnamese restaurants but it is cleaner than most!

Prices: $15-$20ish for mains

Location: 3, the Boulevarde, Strathfield. About 2 minutes walk from Strathfield station. 

Saigon Bowl on Urbanspoon

Friday, 21 November 2014

4Fourteen, Surry Hills

4Fourteen was a great venue for a large group of friends for a lazy lunch on Sunday. The best way to describe the experience would be sharing plate degustation in a warehouse setting, 4fourteen certainly delivered when it came to good food, atmosphere and customer service.  While the portions to share are small; there are several dishes that come out that will satisfy.  It's set in a trendy warehouse in Surry Hills.

The meal started beautifully with very tasty bread, soft butter and olives. The "chips" pictured below were beautifully tempura vegetables with an aioli like sauce.

The other great dishes included the cured King Fish and Miso Smoked Salmon. All the ingredients were fresh and perfectly presented. I enjoyed all the different textures particularly in the salmon dish.

The croquettes were yum. All the other meat dishes were perfectly cooked including the lamb which was very much melt in your mouth, the chorizo was spicy and we got a bonus pork dish which was delicious.  For an array of dishes, I would definitely recommend the $65 collective menu experience. The above picture was the menu that I got to experience.

The absolute highlight of the menu for me was the white chocolate sandwich. Everything was perfect about the sandwich. The ice cream was super creamy, the chocolate crispy "bread" provided crunch and the perfection of caramel was amazing. I loved it. That's why it gets it's own special black square.

Location: 414 Bourke St, Surry Hills. Roughly a 10 minute walk from Central Station.

4Fourteen on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Gelato Messina, Surry Hills

All the hype of the Mushroom cake at Gelato Messina means heightened expectations of this elusive and infamous cake. Gelato Messina is very popular for their gelato but you will often see that the foodies will also blog about their cakes.

So what is this mushroom cake all about? Well first of all its formal name is Dr Evil's Magic Mushroom Cake. The image below from the Gelato Messina website explains the deliciousness very well. The glossy red glaze with white chocolate button cleverly disguises what lies beneath.

The chocolate cake, chocolate gelato and magical green bits all worked very well. My favourite part was definitely the clash of green bits and ice cream. The green bits were crunchy, delicious and exploded (well popped). This Dr Evil Mushroom cake is definitely an experience. It also makes me think of Mario kart.

So if you have a birthday coming up and you want something different and delicious - I would definitely recommend the Gelato Messina Dr Evil Mushroom cake. Yum!

Prices: $85 for the mushroom cake

Gelato Messina on Urbanspoon

Monday, 17 November 2014

Pizza Hut, The Works, George St, Sydney

I must confess the works at Pizza Hut is a guilty pleasure. It's great when you're broke and with a brother who can eat endlessly. The atmosphere is a bit stale and some of the food is dry when it's been out for some time but there's something homely about memories of my youth.

If you get the pizza fresh out of the oven, with a side of chips, pasta and my random favourite of corn mixed with pasta salad; you may be experiencing what I call the ultimate plate. The CBD restaurant is one of the very last standing restaurants and I wonder how long this could last.

I must admit I had a sneaky bowl of dessert as well of brownie, ice cream and chocolate sauce. Come here once every few years... to relive your youth and shout your kid brother when you are broke.

Prices: $18.95 for dine in, works dinner or weekend lunch/dinner

Location: 630 George St, Sydney

Pizza Hut on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Provence By Antoine, Concord

Provence by Antoine is a slice of posh in the suburbs. Tucked away in a quiet street in Concord, you could say it's a hidden gem. The food absolutely exceeded my expectations and I had a great time.

With French cuisine expect very rich flavours with a touch of fat. I started the meal with the roasted garlic and herb baguette at $7. Ton the bread was soft on the buttery herb-like areas and perfectly crunchy on the outside.

For mains, there was the Pork Belly at $32. The confit cooked Pork Belly was served with apple and sweet onion puree, granny smith and celeriac remoulade. The Pork Belly was perfectly cooked and the rich puree just added that special touch. A great dish.

I also ordered the Lamb Shoulder. From Riverina Region, the 12 hours slowly braised lamb shoulder was accompanied with carrot and star anise, mint relish and reduced jus. A little bit of posh at $32. The lamb naturally melted in my mouth and there were delicious fatty lamb parts. A touch of rich but yummy.

Prices: $ 32ish for mains

Location: 50 Mortlake St, Concord in Surburbia

Provence By Antoine on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Belluci's, Dickson (Canberra)

I'm surprised at the 53% like rate on Urbanspoon.  I thought the rating was a bit harsh.  Belluci's must be doing something right in the Canberra area as they have expanded over the years into a number of different restaurants. I went to the Dickson restaurant which is attached to the Sub-Urban Bar.

My work colleague ordered the Vitello Saltimbocca (above) which he ordered 10 years ago and wanted to come back.  He profoundly claimed it was just as good as it was 10 years ago. The dish was pan fried veal medallions with prosciutto, sage, soft polenta, asparagus and pan jus. The Vietello Saltimbocca was $32 and seemed a very small price for a decade of waiting of deliciousness.

I ordered the Spaghetti Marinara (above) which was good. It was a solid pasta dish, Not the dish I would be waiting for 10 years but it was a good dish. The linguine in tomato based sauce was accompanied by selection of prawns, squid and mussels. It was a fresh tasting dish topped with parmesan cheese.

Check it out.

Prices: $30-35 for mains

Location: Corner of Cape St and Woolley Street in Dickson, Canberra

Sub-Urban By Belluci's on Urbanspoon