Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Bistro CBD - Merivale Feast for The Senses , Sydney CBD

It's the time for another Merivale Food & Wine Festival again, and this year's winter theme is Feast for The Senses.

Merivale's Food & Wine Festival is great because you get to taste what each chef has to offer for such an affordable price.
On weekdays lunch (12 - 2pm) or dinner (6 - 8pm) you can have 2 courses for $39 or 3 courses for $45, which also include a glass of wine or beer.
There are 9 Merivale restaurants participating in the festival and after much deliberating which one to go first, we chose Bistro CBD because they have ducks on their menu LOL
We love our ducks !

Bistro CBD Feast for The Senses Menu  ;  Merivale Booklet

There is a special menu for the special deals, with 3 options to choose from for Entree, Main and Dessert.

Glass of Shiraz ; Sparkling Water for me :)

If you are like me, who (sadly) is allergic to alcohol, you can have sparkling or still water instead.

Soy & Linseed Bread

Not long after the bread was served, the manager approached our table and told my friend who was snapping at the table settings that no photography is allowed.
The horrified look on my friend's face was priceless LOL
Turn out he was just teasing us and then asked if we were food bloggers *busted!!*

He then offered to take out the wine bottles so we can have better props for our photos. 
I was grinning from ear to ear and doing happy dance (inside of course) \^o^/

The choice of Sauvignon Blanc & Shiraz for the special menu

Love how they put a name to each of the wine, perhaps it represents the sommelier who chose the wine ?
Jasper is a 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Malborough, NZ and Felix is a 2007 Shiraz from the Barossa Valley, SA.
Of course I didn't taste them but I'm sure they are wonderful wines.

Not long after the waitress returns with our entrees....

  5 Freshly Shucked Sydney Rock Oysters, Golden Shallot Champagne Dressing & Lemon

According to 2 of my friends who selected this dish, the oysters were super fresh and very creamy.
Howard, our friendly and cheeky bistro manager returned to "introduce" the oysters :)
These lovely oysters are from Narooma region in the South Coast of NSW  Merimbula , between Batemans Bay & Eden, NSW (thanks for the correction Howard :D).

Roast Beetroots, Spiced Cured Duck Breast, Rocket & Pear Salad

This was my choice of entree. In the salad there are 2 types of baby beetroots, the red and the yellow variety. This is the first time I ever tasted the yellow ones and I found the flavour to be milder than the usual red ones, sweeter as well. The spiced cured duck breast comes in thin slivers which took us a while to find LOL
I suppose we were expecting chunks of duck when we read the menu. Although they may come in thin slivers, they are packed with flavours !!
Thoroughly enjoyed this dish, fresh and rich at the same time.

We managed to order all the 3 mains that were on the special menu, so here they are...The Mains....

Duck Confit, Braised Red Cabbage, Hazelnuts & Pancetta

The duck dish that some of us are looking forward too :)
 I didn't get to try this, but it looked very rich. The use of hazelnuts and pancetta in this dish sounds interesting too and worked well according to my friend who had this dish.

Crisp Skin Ocean Trout, Fennel Puree & Zucchini Fritter

I usually don't order fish from the menu, but I'm so glad I did tonight !
Simple combination of flavours, but it tasted amazing ! The fish is cooked well and I saved the crispy skin till the very last  - it was that good.
The fennel puree is creamy and the zucchini fritter is like a healthier version of potato hash.
Yum...yumm... ^_^

Grilled Sirloin Steak, Watercress and Chimmi Churri 

I had a bite of my friend's steak and it was also good. The steak was juicy, tender and the chimmi churri sauce compliments the meat.

Howard has promised us that if we are good, we'll get to say hi to the chef of Bistro CBD, Simun Dragicevich.
Obviously we have been behaving because he came back and said that one of us can go into the kitchen to meet the chef and take photos.
I shamelessly raised my arm straight away -___-;
( Sorry girls....should have asked you first if it was okay, I was too excited LOL).

When I saw the kitchen, I was surprised at how small it was and there were 3 people working in it.
It's amazing that with such small space they can still bring out amazing dishes to the tables.

Without further Bistro CBD Head Chef - Simun Dragicevich.

One happy chef with one bright bandanna

He was all smiling and friendly and the other chefs were teasing him, "Since when you became a celebrity?" LOL

For a newbie in food blogging world like me, this is such an honor  ^_^  Thank you for the opportunity !

Chef Simun starts his cooking so I can take some photos of it too, and actually stepped aside so I can take a closer shot of the fish sizzling in the pan (it was Jewfish btw, as Howard told me as we walked back to the table)

Chef in Action ; Sizzling Jewfish 

After thanking the chefs for allowing me to intrude their space, I returned to my seat a very happy food blogger ^o^

Vanilla Meringue, Passionfruit Curd, Fresh Cream

We were full from the entree and the main, so only one of us got the dessert as she only had the main before.
I was told that the meringue was not too sweet at all and it was one yummy dessert.

Two of us has to leave first as their parking meter is almost up so 3 of us were left on the table to settle the bill :)
And we are glad we stayed back ! As we stood up to leave, Howard returns again (LOL) and asked whether we'd like to take a photo with the chef.

I think we know what the answer is :

It was a wonderful Tuesday night dinner with great companies and great food.
Not to mention the friendly and attentive service throughout the night by Howard, the manager and Kelly, our waitress for the night. And of course thank you to the chefs for the wonderful dishes on our table.

Merivale Feasts for The Senses starts now until the end of August ( end date to be confirmed).
So guys, make your bookings now and don't miss out on this great festival of food and wine \^o^

Bistro CBD
Level 1, 52 King Street 
Sydney, NSW 2000
(02) 9240 3000


  1. Hey thanks for reminding me about this! :) I love the first photo, it has such a European feel to it!

  2. Thanks Maria :)
    They just started this week, so you have plenty of time to visit them !

  3. yum i <3 duck! glad they're so foodblogger friendly! are ya going to the launch party tonite?

  4. They are very foodblogger friendly, wish everywhere is like that isn't it ?
    Are you going Suze ? I did thought about it, but then thought of the crowd...horror...LOL

  5. I went ther for the Merivale last time... Howard is very superb manager.. he also did ask me about being a blogger

    seems u guys had a wonderful time :D

  6. Ja : he must be use to seeing food bloggers then LOL we did have lotsa fun \^o^/