Sokyo at The Star, Pyrmont

14 September 2014, 04:10

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My trip to Japan earlier this year just about ruined me. Leaving a land where every single piece of sushi was just perfection pretty much left me cynical and cold on the inside. But then came the most epic meal I’ve ever had in Sydney at Sokyo (Level G, The Darling at The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont)!

Helen and I chose to sit at the sushi bar so we could watch chef Chase Kojima work his magic. We start with a carafe of Bishonen “Beautiful Boy” sake ($21) which is smooth, fruity but not overly sweet and then the fireworks begin.

We begin with ruby red slices of Tuna with mountain potato, shiso leaf and umeboshi (pickled ume plum). The julienned mountain potato has a bit of a sticky mouthfeel but the sweetness of the umeboshi is perfect with the tuna. Hay smoked bonito with minced ginger and chives has a smoky meatiness to it which I loved. The Mackerel with chilli oil, soy and ginger is delicate and sings a zingy song to my tastebuds and the Alfonsino kinmedai is sweet with a delicate texture.

We are lucky to catch the truffle menu before it ended and just had to order the ChaseToroToro ($15/piece), bluefin tuna belly with white sea urchin, black truffle and wrapped in crisp seaweed. MIND BLOWN!!! Not to sound dirty but this was seriously the best thing I have ever put in my mouth. The buttery flavour of tuna with the briny goodness of sea urchin and the incredible aroma of truffles… be still my heart!

Short Rib Beef Skewers ($17) grilled Robata-style just melts in the mouth, the cubes of beef so freakishly tender with caramelised eschallots alternating in between to provide some crunch and relief from the richness.

Cuttlefish Tempura ($16) has an ethereally light batter and only needed the briefest of dips in the chilli, tarragon and ponzu sauce.

We are treated to an off the menu special of Scampi and Foie gras which was just bloody amazing. The scampi was lightly seared and wonderously sweet and the foie gras brought a level of rich umami happiness that had us closing our eyes in bliss. Paper thin slices of radish and apple refreshed the palate and I would’ve been happy if our meal ended there.

But it didn’t end because what did Chase have in store? TUNA! That there is part of the 133kg tuna he’d purchased that very morning!

He normally ages the tuna for a week but we are treated to slices of chutoro and kotoro. I’d not heard of kotoro before but Chase told us it was his favourite part of the tuna and we watched in awe as he carefully sliced away with such precision and scored the kotoro.

And then there was the Otoro which is the reason why life is worth living. Seriously just look at that beauty! The otoro is fatty and unctuous and just so damn perfect I could weep with joy.

Also from the truffle menu was the 150g Wagyu Oyster Blade ($62) with a marble score of +5. The medium rare slices of Wagyu are beautifully seared and served with a salad dressed with a black truffle champagne vinaigrette, a handful of crispy garlic chips and blanketed with black gold.

And then Chase came around and MADE IT RAIN TRUFFLES! YESSSSSSSS the fragrance! The heady aroma! Oh how life is grand!

We were starting to fill up but salmon is my favourite fish in all the lands (in case you’re interested, tuna is my next fave followed by butterfish and then cod) and so both fresh Salmon belly ($6 each) and Seared salmon nigiri were ordered and they were buttery, fatty and just glorious.

Helen chose to have her Scallop nigiri ($4.50 each) fresh but I have texture issues and wanted mine Scallop aburi (mmm burning).

I had reached explodey point but somehow found the room to fit in an Eel nigiri ($6). I loved the lime which awoke my food comatosed brain whose only thought was that it was eel-licious (hurhur sorrynotsorry).

Jean-Baptiste, the general manager of Sokyo swung by to have a chat and next thing we knew we are trying the most amazing sake- a 10 year old bottle of Dewazakura sake. It was smooth and ridiculously easy to drink. Too easy.

We’d decided we would share just one dessert buuuut out came a dessert platter ($26) and golly, what a dessert platter!

Donatsu are fat and fluffy donuts with a creamy pineapple mascarpone filling and a silky smooth creme fraiche ice cream.

The wedge of Tofu Cheesecake is a winner, tasting like sweet tofu-fa! I could’ve happily polished off an entire cheesecake :P

The Yuzu Souffle had quite an impressive height but uh by the time we took pics it deflated. My bad! But hey it was still tasty! The tangy yuzu was the perfect match with the accompanying creme fraiche ice cream and didn’t really need the cubes of passionfruit jelly.

Goma Street is a tower of dark chocolate discs with layers of caramelised white chocolate in between and knobbly chunks of black sesame crumble. It felt like such a crime smashing the tower! The black sesame ice cream is a perfect way to round off our meal.

Like seriously guys, Sokyo is now my fave restaurant in Sydney! Obvs it’s not the place to come weekly unless you’re loaded but it’s definitely the place for a treat yo’self occasion.

ChocolateSuze dined at Sokyo with a $100 gift voucher that was used to partially fund the cost of this meal. The remainder was personally paid for

Sokyo on Urbanspoon

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La Maison de L’éclair, Bondi

8 September 2014, 02:00

Comment [28]

MY PRETTIES! I believe good things come to those that wait and oh how I’ve waited to visit La Maison de L’éclair (91 Bondi Road, Bondi)! Open for about a year now, La Maison de L’éclair is run by Frédéric and Laurence Caillon, founders of Croquembouche Patisserie in Botany.

It’s hard not to enter the patisserie and just stop and stare at the cabinet holding eclairs of all colours of the rainbow, so bright, so vivid (double rainbow, double rainbow!). I had serious decision angst as it was so hard to choose! The eclair prices are for takeaway only, if you’re dining in it’s +$1.

Mini eclairs!

A selection of tarts and cakes from Croquembouche are also available and there’s a whole window dedicated to pastel hued macarons.

There’s savoury eclairs too for those missing their sweet tooth. Or should that be teeth… They’re also gluten free, made from buckwheat and look stuffed to the gills with filling.

The boy really wanted the Fruits of the Forrest ($7.50 + $1 dine in) and when I asked him how it tasted he said it tasted purple which is SUCH a big help, thanks Noods. So because I wanted more information than the eclair tasting like a colour, I nicked a bite and was impressed with the smooth mixed berries cream filling. I did find the icing to be a bit on the tooth achingly sweet side and while I’m not the biggest fan of flowers in my foods I did like the crunch of the crystallised violets studded about.

The Nutella Eclair ($8.50 + $1 dine in) was a special of the day with fresh cream and choc pops and it was pretty damn tasty as is all things with Nutella! I hear there’s a Nutella shortage happening because of poor weather affecting hazelnut crops which has led to me binge eating Nutella like there’s no tomorrow. But anywho this eclair with its wonderfully smooth Nutella cream filling filled all the corners of my Nutella loving heart.

The Crunchy Hazelnut Eclair ($8.50) was a fair runner up to the Nutella eclair with a crunchy hazelnut ganache cream filling topped with a sweet hazelnut fondant, nougatine, hazelnuts, gold leaf and a mini macaron with a delicately crisp shell.

The Raspberry Duchesse ($8.50) was my fave out of the bunch as tasted like summer! Fat, juicy raspberries are enveloped with a fresh cream filling and a baby pink macaron top hugs everything together.

Aaaand last but not least the Signature Gold Eclair ($8.50) containing a praline and Ecuador cream filling. This baby is rich, I mean look at its gold shimmer dust bling! And also rich in the ‘uh oh this is so rich and filling” sense. Not the best idea to eat after having eaten several eclairs prior haha my bad…

I did find some of the icing on the eclairs to be a bit on the sweet side but I absolutely loved the choux pastry which was fresh, light and really was just everything I had hoped for. I’ll definitely be back to try the savoury eclairs as well as the rest of the sweet eclairs :D

La Maison de L’éclair on Urbanspoon

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Badmanner Thymes Cafe, Parramatta

31 August 2014, 22:54

Comment [25]

Badmanner Thymes Cafe - Parramatta
Woah baby. How epic does this Kimchi Burger ($15) look?! Badmanner Thymes Cafe (2/1 Horwood Place, Parramatta) has been open for a couple of months now but recently they have been opening on Saturdays and soon on Sundays! I’d seen this burger on the interwebs and that was enough for me to roll out of bed one Saturday and drag the boy along.

Hugged together by a sesame brioche bun, the 6 hours slow cooked pulled pork is melt in the mouth tender and ohh boy the homemade kimchi is spicy! Duh, kimchi is usually spicy but I just couldn’t stop eating it and eventually my mouth accepted the burning. That, or it lost all feeling and decided to give up on life. The citrus aioli on the cabbage was zingy and creamy and helped with the burning. I pulled out the crispy sweet potato chips to eat separately because they were brilliant and I wanted to make them last the entire meal.

Badmanner Thymes Cafe - Parramatta
The Eggs Benedict ($12) sure is a beauty! You have the choice of salmon or ham with the bene but I decide to go for the sautéed mushrooms, avocado and spinach instead.

Badmanner Thymes Cafe - Parramatta
RUNNY EGG YOLK SHOT! Badmanner Thymes Cafe uses free range eggs and they are deeeeelicious! The buttered sourdough bread was loaded with a mountain of mushrooms and a generous amount of avo but yeah, those eggs, man I love eggs!

Badmanner Thymes Cafe - Parramatta
On our second visit I was determined to get the Bulgogi Roll ($13) because I am a recent convert to the religion of wasabi and let me tell you, the wasabi aioli on this roll is just bloody awesome! The wholemeal roll had been lightly toasted so it was able to hold all the super juicy shavings of beef without getting soggy and the strips of pickled white radish, red onion and spinach help to cut the richness. And woo more crispy sweet potato chips! They weren’t a vivid orange but no worries they still tasted awesome, the world needs more sweet potato chips!

Badmanner Thymes Cafe - Parramatta
The Mexican Chilli Bean Baked Eggs ($16) looked pretty impressive but we weren’t too keen on the addition of smoked salmon and found the chilli to be a bit on the watery side. But we loved the medley of beans and ricotta and the eggs were gloriously molten and oozy and perfect to dip with the toasted sourdough.

Badmanner Thymes Cafe - Parramatta
We were seated directly opposite the pastry cabinet and just couldn’t resist ordering something to satisfy my sweet tooth…

Badmanner Thymes Cafe - Parramatta
The Cronuts Brewnuts ($4.50) are from Brewtown and while it’s great that us Westies get some cronut love, I do prefer eating them freshly made as they can get a bit soggy and oily.

Badmanner Thymes Cafe - Parramatta
I’m finding caffeine to be the cause of making me feel a lil psycho lately so have had to give the coffee and energy drinks a rest for a bit but Badmanner Thymes sources their beans from Tulip.Shi if you’re keen for the caffeine hit. We opt instead for fresh juices ($5), granny smith for me and orange and ginger for the boy.

Badmanner Thymes Cafe - Parramatta
Hooray for more brunch options in Parra!

Badmanner Thymes on Urbanspoon

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