I'm Still Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog

Messina Dessert Bar | Darlinghurst

When household name Gelato Messina announced its intentions to open up a DIY dessert bar, I may have lost my marbles. This was the same month that saw Cow and the Moon take the title of World’s Best Gelato, so it really was a fantastic month to be a Sydneysider.

Opening up in the now deprecated Messina Creative Department, the dessert bar allows you to choose your own gelato base(s), and spruik it up with any number of toppings you desire (70c per topping). The result is a creation – or failure – to call your own.

Furthermore, they intend to mix up the flavours and available toppings every once in awhile to keep things interesting. Perhaps this is the secret to success – variety is the spice of life, after all. One man can only eat so much, so I recruited the iFat to once again, shoulder my sweet, sweet burdens.

Date Last Visited: 15/2/2014
Address: 
Recommended Dish(es): DIY if you know what you’re doing, otherwise, the Pavlova-Kona & I Dough Know are pretty good

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Rockpool | Sydney CBD

If you told me in 2013, that you could get a 3-course meal at one of Sydney’s top-tier, three-hatted restaurants for a mere $79, I would have laughed in your face, realised how offensive I was, contained myself to avoid offending you, but then sneak out a few more giggles because it’s just that unbelievable.

Well, this would be one of those times where I don’t mind giving you the last laugh. Indeed, Neil Perry, of Rockpool fame has, in an effort to corral more of the burgeoning and lucrative lunch trade, has begun offering a three-course lunch menu for just $79. Two courses run you $69, while one, $52. You know where the value is ladies and gentlemen, get on it.

Further to this, Rockpool is no longer at the Rocks, having moved to the more CBD-friendly Bridge St, taking over what used to be Steerson’s Steakhouse. When we’re talking about one of Sydney’s best restaurants serving up sub-$100 fare at a location I can briskly walk to, it was no question that lunch, is indeed served.

Date Last Visited: 30/5/14
Address: 11 Bridge Street Sydney, NSW 2000
Recommended Dish(es): rangers valley rib eye, chirashi zushi

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Devon on Danks | Waterloo

There’s a  commonly-held belief that you shouldn’t have too much of something you love, lest you fall into the trap of routine. Solid advice, except with more than eight visits to Devon Cafe (and three posts –  uno, deux, trois), I clearly have not taken that advice to heart.

While I’ve had a bit of a roller coaster relationship with SMH’s Best Food Cafe (Devon By Night, I’m looking at you), I’ve always had a soft spot for their daytime menu – their perfectly poached eggs, exquisite salmon, the most beautiful blini I’ve ever seen…it’s the kind of food that I just don’t get to eat in other cafes. A repeat customer? For sure.

So when the announcement came that the cafe which is such a large part of my food adventures over the last year, is opening a second, bigger branch known as Devon on Danks…well, I was there so fast, The Flash would have been left spinning. Spoilers: it’s worth it.

Date Last Visited: 6/12/14
Address: 2 Danks St Waterloo, NSW 2017
Recommended Dish(es): little lost bread, Dr Seuss’ green eggs and ham, naked bruschetta, sundae (any variant)

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Izakaya Den | Melbourne

The English language is a big fan of appropriating foreign words. It’s obvious with French, but Japanese is also a language for which loanwords are common.

One that has seen a bit of a usage increase is “izakaya”, a term decribing a Japanese-style bar that serves food to boot. A Japanese pub, essentially. In Japan, izakayas are frequent haunts of Japanese businessmen when they get off from a day at work.

And so it is here in Australia as well. One of Melbourne’s most famous examples of these Nippon staples is Izakaya Den. With an appropriate amount of hype surrounding the place, even by Melbourne standards, it was only a matter of time before a visit was due.

Date Last Visited: 29/11/13
Address: 114 Russell St Melbourne, VIC 3000
Recommended Dish(es): egg rolls, spicy tuna tataki, cone bay barramundi, miso pound cake

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Ormeggio at the Spit | Stressless Sunday Dinner

You don’t generally associate the terms “value for money” and “two-hatted fine dining restaurant” in the same sentence, unless it’s to say that you can’t find the former in an instance of the latter. Basic economics unfortunately dictate that with the fame, comes the restaurant’s ability to raise prices to whatever that limit the “sky” is supposed to be.

But two-hatted Italian restaurant Ormeggio at the Spit has taken a different approach. Sure, they still have their usual 3-digit degustations and a la carte offerings, but on Sundays, they offer what is quite possibly the cheapest meal offered by a hatted restaurant.

It’s called the “Stressless Sunday Dinner”: 69 dollars, 6 courses, Sunday nights only. Why worry about Monday when you can instead worry about what you’ll do with all the money you save from paying so little?

Date Last Visited: 16/11/2014
Address: D’Albora Marinas The Spit Spit RdMosman, NSW 2088
Recommended Dish(es): veal tonnato, tagliolini,  45C egg, carrot cake

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Single Origin Roasters | Surry Hills

For all of my Surry Hills cafe hopping adventures, I’ve never managed to make it to one of its longstanding stalwarts. Admittedly, coffee wasn’t really my thing back then, so Single Origin Roasters – a cafe that’s known for its coffee and not its food – didn’t make the radar.

I’m still no coffee expert (imstillnocoffeeexpert.net probably doesn’t have a ring to it, eh?), but times have certainly changed, now that I actually enjoy the beverage. It’s time to give the singles at Single Origin Roasters some love.

I should probably retire from blogging soon if I’m spouting lines like that…ANYWAYS, do click in, dear readers!

Date Last Visited: 30/10/2014
Address: 60-64 Reservoir St Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Recommended Dish(es): coffee

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Trio Cafe | Bondi Beach

Who would have ever heard about making a booking at a cafe? Either the place is the height of pretension, or it’s popular enough that such a system becomes the necessary evil that it is.

In the end, it’s simple supply and demand. Yeah, Trio cafe in summer is that popular.

Being the occasional cafe explorer, it would only make sense for me (well, The Lady) to plop our reservation details down and get the ball rolling. Don’t fret – not every table is reserved for bookings, you can rock up and try your luck the old-fashioned way. What’s all the fuss about? No idea! That’s why we went!

Date Last Visited: 22/9/2013
Address: 56 Campbell Pde Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
Recommended Dish(es): breakfast tasting plate

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Ananas Bar & Brasserie | Sydney CBD

When I first visited Ananas Bar & Brasserie in 2013, I was skeptical. I’ve usually found my French experiences in Sydney to be heavy and not particularly palatable. It was a difference I was willing to accept, but surely there was something to like?

I was glad to conclude in that post how wrong I was – the lunch I had was exceptional. I even thought to myself “man, this restaurant should be hatted”. Hah, and then that exact thing happened!

Over the next year, I’ve grapevined much about how Ananas’ true specialty are their desserts. That particular opinion was validated with incredible prejudice at their Let’s Do Dessert. After that, I knew I had to take on a complete experience there. So I went for a proper dinner the very next day. It’s time to treat my tastebuds to French done right.

Date Last Visited: 31/10/14
Address: 18 Argyle St The Rocks, NSW 2000
Recommended Dish(es): Bresse chicken, Yve’s Apple, The Black Swan

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Momofuku Ssäm Bar at Seiōbo Sydney

When offered an opportunity to time travel back to the past, you take it.

Thankfully, when it comes to food, the past can be revived. When 3-toqued Momofuku Seiobo announced that it would be bringing back the 2007 bar menu from the legendary Momofuku Ssam bar in New York, you could say #sydneyfoodies (hashtag and all) got just a wee bit excited.

Will head chef Ben Greeno be able to handle it? Are the classics truly any good? Is it even worth talking about since it already ended? Can this paragraph of questions end already? Ok.

Date Last Visited: 16/10/2014
Address: 80 Pyrmont Street Pyrmont, NSW 2009
Highlight Dish(es): steamed buns, fried brussel sprouts, apple salad, honeycomb tripe, veal sweetbreads, rice cakes, hanger steak

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Ananas Bar and Brasserie | Let’s Do Dessert

As far as the Good Food Month Let’s Do Dessert series goes, this is the best. Not mincing words here – this particular dessert even managed to push aside my bias towards Flying Fish which was, up till now, my favourite of 2014 (and 2013). Then again, if any restaurant was going to steal Flying Fish’s thunder, it would be Ananas Bar and Brasserie.

Ananas, being less than two years old, has already picked up a chef’s hat, and in my humble opinion is one of Sydney’s best French restaurants. That their dessert offering took the crown this year could almost be thought of as expected.

You’ve already seen the cover picture, so you know what the dessert’s about, let’s take a walk through the pineapple brasserie’s offering, shall we?

Date Last Visited: 30/10/14
Address: 18 Argyle St The Rocks, NSW 2000
Booking Required: Yes

Continue reading Ananas Bar and Brasserie | Let’s Do Dessert