Category Archives: Nine Caesars

The Fat Duck London & Melbourne

The Fat Duck | London & Melbourne

The Fat Duck is about to pull a hat trick.

The culinary overlord Heston Blumenthal (you may have heard of him) utterly and definitively blew me away when I dined at The Fat Duck in Bray over a year and a half ago. It was a transformative experience, teaching me that food can be elevated to unimaginable heights, yet take you back to food play dates of childhood. It is art, theatre, and the fulfilment of fantasy all in one meal. You do not visit a restaurant such as The Fat Duck to merely eat. Sure, in the end, it’s just food, they say. Only idiots would pay $500+ for a meal, they decry. Well then, let us fools be parted with our money – these tables are hard enough to nab as they are.

So many people tried to book a table at The Fat Duck’s 6-month stint in Melbourne – nearly 100,000 people applied for the mere chance. I, the masochist, tried my luck at the chef’s table – an even more improbable feat. Needless to say, I was truly counting on a lucky star to shine upon me. And then, one did.

Date Last Visited: 10/1/2014 (London) | 04/07/2015 (Melbourne)
Address: High Street, Bray, Berkshire SL6 2AQ, United Kingdom | 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank, VIC
Recommended Dish(es): the experience itself

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Ananas Bar & Brasserie Let's Do Dessert

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

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Flying Fish Let's Do Dessert Cover

Flying Fish | Let’s Do Dessert

Something sweet, specially created for Good Food Month, paired with a glass of dessert wine from Yalumba, this year’s GFM wine sponsor. That’s the simple, but delicious premise of the Let’s Do Dessert series; a creation for those with a tooth sweeter than most.

I would know, given I did seventeen(!!!!!!) of them in 2012, and also a decent run in 2013. How I’m not living on the streets (with diabetes!) is beyond me, but I survive for another year.

This time around, sanity takes hold and I decide to be selective with what I put in my stomach. As such, it only made sense to try out Flying Fish – my favourite Let’s Do Dessert of 2013.

Date Last Visited: 23/10/2014
Address: 21 Pirrama Rd Pyrmont, NSW 2009
Booking Required: Yes
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Hammer & Tong Cover

Hammer and Tong 412 | Melbourne

Chef Simon Ward and front of house Dennis Ferreira. You may not necessarily know their names yet but the name Vue De Monde might just strike that bell. In the continuing trend of fine dining chefs downsizing, the ex-VDM duo has set up an ostensibly nondescript cafe in Fitzroy by the name of Hammer and Tong 412. For the time being, the following edict stands: this is my favourite cafe. Anywhere. Yes, the venerable Kepos Street Kitchen takes out the crown of my favourite cafe in Sydney, but Hammer and Tong takes out the national championships. We’re talking about fine dining-esque food, with the best produce, but at cafe prices. It only gets better from here.

Date Last Visited: 7/6/14
Address: Rear 412 Brunswick St Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Recommended Dish(es): every dish in this post (more…)

Sugar Hits 2013 Cover

Good Food Month 2013 Let’s Do Dessert | Sugar Blast

At this rate, my blog will become next to useless if I keep posting about time-sensitive events after they are already over, or close to it. Case in point: Good Food Month’s Night Noodle Markets. But hey, I have a decent excuse (reason?). Not being in the country until after half of October had passed is kind of a big contributor, and couple that with exam study (yes, I actually do care about my academia) and you have a recipe for many delayed posts.

But even if you mised out on this year’s range of let’s do dessert, there’ll always be more opportunities to go next year – as was the case for this year, from last year. That was a confusing sentence.

Anyways, you’re all here to look at pretty pictures of deliciously guilty sugar hits. So let’s all take the jump.

Recommended Let’s Do Dessert Destinations: Flying Fish, Shangri-La, Azuma Chifley

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Tomislav Cover

Tomislav | Gastronomic Sensation

I have to begin with a statement that this review was a very, very difficult one for me to write. By no means this is because I was being challenged by the quality of the food, or the service.

Rather, it’s that in terms of tastes, the complexity of the dish’s aromas and the depth of flavour of almost each of the dishes had, was executed to such a degree that made it difficult to put in words.

To put it another, much more obvious way, one-hatted Tomislav is a very viable challenger for the title of my favourite restaurant of 2013.

Well, that was much easier wasn’t it? Let’s see what the fuss is all about.

Date Last Visited: 20/7/13
Address: 2/13 Kirketon Road, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Recommended Dish(es): Roast veal sweetbread w/poached quail yolk, grilled mango & crumbled foie gras

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Ocean Room Cover

Ocean Room – All the Flavours of the Sea

I love going to a restaurant that’s easy to recommend – it means that pretty much all the food is just so awesome, there’s virtually no compunction in telling you to fork out large sums of money for a meal at said restaurant. Ocean Room is one such restaurant. An establishment I believe should be hatted.

Located at The Rocks directly facing the Opera House, it’s alfresco dining, to be sure. That is, presuming you get the right seat. Even if you don’t, you will be too distracted by the food anyway.

I’m probably biased once again since it’s a Japanese restaurant, but bias is just a form of subjective opinion when it comes to food. I’m sure that as long as you like seafood, you will take to Ocean Room.

Date Visited: 22/10/2012
Address: Circular Quay West The Rocks, NSW 2000
Go-to dish: Saikyo miso cod

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Sokyo Cover

Sokyo – Fusion Perfection

It’s hard to describe Sokyo. It’s easy to say it’s a Japanese restaurant, but – and I kind of loathe to use the word – it’s definitely a Japanese fusion restaurant. There are distinctly Western elements in its dishes, and I’ve got to say – this is done to wonderful effect. Taking this into consideration, you’d do yourself well to filter out all of the negative press about this place exclaiming “it’s not traditional” or “original” and so on, so forth. We all know that when fusion is done right, it’s spectacular. It’s awesome that Sokyo landed on that side of the fence.

It also may have become one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Sydney. No kidding.

Date Visited: 16/11/2012
Address: Level G, The Darling, The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street Pyrmont, NSW, 2009
Go-to dish: “yakiniku” marinated lamb chop w/Japanese pickles & yakiniku BBQ sauce

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Chophouse Cover

Chophouse – Prime Steakhouse

Chophouse, a hidden gem and pretty much the king of Sydney steakhouses. Steak is so finicky, and there are so many ways to cook it that one person’s perfect steak is another’s charred tyre rubber. But Chophouse endures, because it just gets steak.

I would go here all the time for my steak fixes if it weren’t for the prices – but of course, you just know I’m going to say they’re worth it. Pity my wallet doesn’t share that view.

Grab your knife and fork folks, let’s dig in.

Date Visited: 5/12/2012
Address: 25 Bligh St Sydney, NSW 2000
Go-to dish: crispy pork strips, off the bone, w/shaved cabbage salad & caramel chilli glaze

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Gastro Park Cover

Gastro Park – Gastronomic Apex

Gastro Park is one of the best restaurants in Sydney. Strong lead there Shen; I know, but when it comes to experimental haute cuisine, Gastro Park is always swimming around in my head yelling “me! Me!” and I just cannot ignore it.

Remember how I once said that when the food is so good you actually have fewer words to describe it? I got that feeling in spades with this fine restaurant. But enough talk, let’s eat.

Date Visited: 27/10/2012
Address: 5-9 Roslyn St Kings Cross, NSW 2010
Go-to dish: soy & mustard glazed swordfish belly, pickled cucumber

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