Friday, 5 November 2010

Westfield Sydney Tour & Taste - Charlie & Co., Cloudy Bay Fish Co., Eat Deli Kitchen, Top Fruit, Via del Corso, Sky Phoenix

Westfield Sydney
Image courtesy of Westfield

It was a pleasant surprise when I received an email from Christine of Urbanspoon asking whether I'd be interested in attending the new Westfield Sydney Tour & Taste ?
It's obvious what my answer was LOL
Took an early mark from work to be at Westfield at 4.30pm and met up with Naomi from Westfield, Sally & Joy from Liquid Ideas and a few other media people and 2 other food bloggers *hi Leona & Tina, nice to meet you girls :D*

To be honest, I didn't expect the renovation to be this grand ! I was awestruck when I stepped in and wander around a bit (I was early as per usual) - one word to sum it all - WOW !!
I'll have to come back again and to the proper walk when the crowd has settled - going now will be just mad.

Level 5 Food Court

We were escorted up to Level 5 where the food court is located. This 1.2billion dollar refurbishment shopping centre has not one, but 3 levels dedicated to food. 
At this stage only half of  Level 5 is ready and only Sky Phoenix occupy Level 6 at the moment. 
The plan is for all 3 levels to be ready by the April 2011 (2nd stage opening of the centre) and once completed, there will be heaps more restaurants joining (confirmed at this stage is Sassy's Red by Simon Goh of Chinta Ria and a more up market version of Chat Thai with focus on desserts ). 
There will also be a rooftop bar set to open on Level 7, a perfect place to wind down after work with an amazing view of the city.

Charlie & Co.

Our first stop of the tour was at Justin North's (of Bécasse, Plan B & Etch fame) new burger venture.
We all know about the famed $10 Wagyu Burger at Plan B and Justin said that during lunch time he'd see corporate men and women in suits, sitting on milk crates and on the side of the road enjoying the burger. 
So why not explore it further, make it more available to public and have more comfortable eating space ?

Glass of bubbly ; Charlie & Co. Menu

The menu are very reasonably priced for the quality you received, with burger prices ranging from $12 - $16 (eat out) or $14 - $18 (dining in). 
How did Justin managed to serve such high quality food at such affordable price ?
With sustainability in mind, he always buy a whole 250kg carcass of wagyu beef each time - the prime cuts are used in the restaurants and instead of wasting the non-prime parts of the beef, they are made into burgers - the whole carcass is fully utilized. All the breads are baked in house in their bakery ( which is also set to be opened to public in the future) that way they can save a lot of third party costs.

Take-away Box ; Justin North 

Who is Charlie & Co. ?
The Charlie in Charlie & Co. is an homage to Hamburger Charlie ( who invented the burger concept back in 1885 when he was only 15 years old !! ) and  Justin's son's name is also Charlie :)
The Co. refers to the company of people that works in the kitchen and the restaurant.
The takeaway boxes and bags are specially designed as well, he would like the consumer to feel as though they are opening a gift as they open the box - pretty and delicious wagyu beef burger.

Mini Wagyu & Co. Burger

Along with a glass of bubbly, we were served a mini wagyu burger to taste. If you have had Plan B's wagyu burger, you will know what I'm talking about. 
Because fat from wagyu beef has a lower melting point, the fat will melt at your body temperature, so you get this juicy and burst of rich flavours in your mouth. The amazing burger patty is further enhanced by the soft and buttery brioche. 

Parmesan & Truffle Fries

Of course we have to have fries on the side, don't we ? We had the golden fluffy fries, tossed in truffle oil and then topped with freshly shaved parmesan. It is by far the best ever fries - BY FAR !!
I had to restrain myself from eating more than a few pieces as there will be more eating to come.
Truffle fries....I'll be back !

Dine-In Seating Area

How did you come up with the burgers menu ?
Prior to the opening of this burger joint, Justin ran a survey / competition online on what is the best burger you've ever had. The responses received were overwhelming and he managed to narrow it down to a handful of the most popular burgers. On Charlie & Co.'s menu you have a good mixture of mexican, western, asian and middle eastern flavoured burgers. 
These are the Top 4 burgers since they opened last week (in order of popularity) : 
The Wagyu & Co. Burger (wagyu burger with beetroot relish, pickled gherkin and aged cheddar on a toasted brioche bun), The Federation Burger (seasoned angus beef pattie, aged cheddar, fried egg, bacon, sautéed onion, iceberg lettuce and tomato on a sesame sourdough bun), The Rustic Chorizo Classic (pork burger infused with smoked paprika, chorizo and fennel, with soft peppers and fried egg on a toasted brioche) and The Hand-Crafted Chilli Crab Burger (Thai infused crab cake with Asian salad, lime mayonnaise and sweet chilli jam on a sesame bun).

Cloudy Bay Fish Co

Next stop is John Susman's first ever venture into retail, for almost 20 years now, he has been providing the best quality seafood from Australian and New Zealand to famous restaurants all over the world, from Sydney to Manhattan. 
Again, sustainability is important to John, they know what they are catching, sell and serve to their customers. 

John Susman of Cloudy Bay Fish Co.

The concept here is very simple, there will be 4 types of protein available to choose from and they are either grilled or fried. Your choice of protein is then served with a bowl of salad and slices of bread - "it is not about the look, it's about the taste and quality" as John said. 
The bread served here is sourced from the neighbour a.k.a. Bécasse Bakery - it was like a community here between Justin North, John Susman and Michael Moore. They have been supporting each other during the past week when the demand exceeded their prediction. If one of them happen to ran out of ingredients like bread for example, they just go to the others and borrowed what they needed. It is really amazing to see how they support each other :)

Salmon ; Freshly Baked Rolls ; Proteins 

There is a hot food station coming up in the following weeks, where there will be 3 hot items available for grab and go, such as clam chowder, crab lasagne and crab cakes. There will also be fresh daily fish that can be grilled or fried to order. The fish will change depending on what is best available on the day. 
Also opening soon is a licensed restaurant section behind the counter, where diners can enjoy fine seafood with a glass of wine by the big glass window overlooking the city. 

Guzman y Gomez  ; Steven Marks ; Chipotle Tabasco

A quick stop by Guzman y Gomez, this Westfield branch is the 7th store in Australia for this casual fast Mexican restaurant concept.
We met Steven Marks, the Managing Director and also the founder of Guzman y Gomez. 
Have you ever wondered ,"Who is Guzman and Gomez ?" - they are the names of Steven's childhood best buds !
All of the essential ingredients used in this franchise are still sourced from Mexico, and the tortillas used are made by a Mexican lady in Australia - talk about keeping everything authentic !
Except the tortilla, everything else is gluten free - good news for those of you who are gluten free :)
You can just order the burrito in a bowl instead of wrapped in tortilla, the tacos and chips are made of corn so they are safe.

Eat Deli Kitchen 

I was soo looking forward to the next stop - target was to try the Reuben Sandwich at Michael Moore's Eat Deli Kitchen.
To my dissapointment, they have sold out of their rye bread used for the Reuben sandwich :(
So no reuben sandwich *sob*
Michael said that he was the first one to sign up with Westfield to open up a store there, the original plan was to name it as just "Eat", however since that name is not available, he added "Deli Kitchen" since that is what the eatery is all about. 

Michael Moore

This is also Michael's first venture into a more casual, sandwiches focused eatery. Very different from his 360 degree, revolving Summit Restaurant on top of Australia Square.
The counter was designed to make you feel like you are stepping into a kitchen - as you placed your order, you stepped into what looked like a kitchen fume hood where you can see your food are being freshly made and prepared - freshness is the key here. 
The concept here revolves once again on sustainability, cuts of meat that are usually deemed not of prime quality is not wasted and transformed into something delicious - in this case, the silverside cut of the beef. 

Salted Wagyu Beef 

The corned beef used in Eat Deli Kitchen is from grain fed wagyu beef with marble score of 6 +. 
The meat is sourced from 2 places in Australia , Oakleigh Ranch in Casino, NSW and Blackmore  in Alexandria, VIC. 
The silverside cut is then pickled and cured for 5 hours in brine. Then assembled into a Reuben sandwich along with house made sauerkraut & pickle, mustard mayo, swiss cheese, sandwhiced between 2 slices of rye bread. 
Since we are not able to taste the bread, Michael described the rye bread they used as having a thin crispy crust with soft spongy centre, not chewy and they are sliced to order to ensure freshness. 

Although we are not able to taste the famed Reuben sandwich, we got a taste of everything else in it minus the rye bread :)
The salted wagyu beef was delicious, not overly salty at all and well balanced with the sauerkraut, pickles and the mustard mayo. 
Michael also mentioned that although wagyu beef is known for its high content of saturated fat, the process of making the salted beef has rendered at least 30% of the total weight, which would mostly be fat.
Beside sandwiches, they also brew Campos Coffee here, so don't forget to grab one to go with your Reuben. 

Yellow Dragon Fruit @ Top Fruit

After all the wagyu, we need something lighter to balance things out. A quick stop by Top Fruit was definitely in order. 

Yellow Dragon Fruit ; White Dragon Fruit ;
Chocolate  Fruit ; Chocolate Fruit Flesh

We had a tasting of some exotic fruits, yellow & white dragon fruit and my first ever encounter with chocolate fruit !
The yellow dragon first is a first for me too, it tasted much sweeter compared to the common white and red variety. It also has more of a bite to it and slightly floral taste. 
The chocolate fruit or black sapote is an interesting one, it tasted nothing like chocolate whatsoever. It has a creamy texture similar to avocado with mild sweetness.

Wheatgrass & Banana ; Exotic Fruit Salad

Fruit & Nuts To Go ; Exotic Fruits ; Cool Storage ; Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Top Fruit does not only sell fruits of course, you can get an exotic fruit salad, fruit juices, nuts in jars, and  the irresistible chocolate dipped strawberries. 

Via Del Corso Pasticceria e Caffé

I was like a little kid in a candy shop when we stopped at Via Del Corso - grinning from ear to ear with twinkling eyes  LOL
Loved everything about it, the pastel colours, the amazing display of colourful gelato and the desserts and the cakes and the macarons !!! HEAVEN !!!!

We were told that their gelato cabinet was specially brought in from Italy and was made by the maker of Ferrari and Lamborghini.
Just see the next photo and you'll see it the similarity with those luxury cars :

Lamborghini butterfly style door !!

The gelato cabinet door opens upwards just like a Lamborghini !!!  It was so cool !! >__<
We all just stared in fancy gelato cabinet with rows of lights on the inside too...more wow.....

Gelato Tasting Time 

After all the wow-ness, it was time to taste some gelato ! We were allowed to taste all of them, no double dipping of course :)
My favourite would have to be the dark chocolate chili gelato, it was rich, slightly bitter with a very slight kick of heat at the back. Delicious !!

Plated Desserts Display

While the others are still tasting the gelato, I just can't divert my eyes from the display of desserts next to it.
Look at those pretty things *swoon* There is a dining in area in Via Del Corso where you can enjoy these plated desserts , not too sure if they would be available for take away though.

Brioche w/ Gelato & Fresh Cream ; Bread & Pastries ;
Mak Mak's Macaron ; Gelato & Sorbet

Out of the amazing selection of desserts, my target is locked on the Brioche w/ Gelato & Fresh Cream - I sure hope it will taste as good as it looked ! There was also a large selection of pastries on display, cannoli , pain au chocolat, brioche, friands, you name it, Via Del Corso probably have it.
The macarons are not made in house, but are supplied by MakMak Macaron (see my post on MakMak here ). Now I can get MakMak's macaron anytime I want - yay !

Sky Phoenix

Our last pit stop of the night is one level up at Sky Phoenix Chinese Restaurant. If you have read Helen's post on her Westfield Sydney Tour & Taste (she did a day time tour, our tour is the evening one), then we should be having yum cha here.
It is however a bit odd to have it during dinner time, so instead we ordered a few dishes as recommended by the manager. 

High Glass Window ; Private Rooms ; Table Set Up

I have never been to Sky Phoenix when it was at Sky Garden, so I am not sure how big it was back then. But this newly refurbished Sky Phoenix can accommodate up to 400 people at any one time. The restaurant was really vast with big tall glass windows, I also love the grey and red colour scheme all round the place. 

Peking Duck 2 Course
Peking Duck Pancake & Sang Choy Bow

We start off with Peking Duck done in 2 course - peking duck pancake and sang choy bow. 
The peking duck was thickly sliced with crispy caramelised skin, peking duck is always good :)
The lettuce cup for the sang choy bow was really crisp and juicy, wish there were more fillings though. 

Scallop & Prawns with Snow Peas

The prawns and scallops were really fresh and sweet, simply stir fried with some ginger slices and served with sweet snow peas.

Mixed Green Vegetables

A simple and clean veggie dish to make us feel better after our eating spree for the past 2 hours. Simply served with a drizzle of soy sauce. 
I feel healthier already LOL

Beef Cubed Steaks with Wasabi Sauce

The last dish was the tender cubed beef steak with a good amount of wasabi sauce. If you have never had it before , you should give it a go. Steak + Wasabi = Good.

We started the tour at 4.30pm and finished at 7.30pm, needless to say we rolled back home as we ate so much during the span of 3 hours !
It is great to see what Westfield Sydney has to offer for the Sydney food scene. 
Say goodbye to greasy food associated to food courts and say hello to high quality food with affordable price !!
The foods are of course priced higher than your standard food court fare, but it is very reasonable considering the quality of food that you get. You get fine dining quality food at great prices from some of the eateries even, how is that for value ? :)
The food court is also equipped with free Wi-Fi connection. It is a great place to catch up with friends, informal business meetings in one of the restaurants, or just relax and unwind after a long day of shopping spree :) 

I'm looking forward to the many more eateries and restaurants that are set to open by April 2011.

Big thank you to Westfield Sydney and Liquid Ideas for the invitation and showing us around.

Westfield Sydney
Pitt Street

Level 5 - Food Court ( centre opening hours)
Level 6  - Sky Phoenix Chinese Restaurant (open 7 days, lunch 11am - 3pm, dinner 5.30pm - late)

Charlie & Co Burgers on Urbanspoon   

Via Del Corso Pasticceria E Caffé - Westfield Sydney on Urbanspoon

Eat, Deli Kitchen - Westfield Sydney on Urbanspoon

Top Juice - Westfield Sydney on Urbanspoon

Cloudy Bay Fish Co. - Westfield Sydney on Urbanspoon

Sky Phoenix on Urbanspoon


  1. What an awesome review of the complex, Monica!

    SSG xxx

  2. hi SSG : I hope I got all the info right though LOL (fingers crossed), trying to write down notes while eating is not an easy task ! hahahaha

  3. Awesome review! I've had a quick look up there, and it looks great. Can't wait to try out all the new eats :)

  4. A shame you missed out on the Reuben sandwich but you got the truffle fries! lol. I'm hoping the crowds dissipate soon so I can go enjoy a burger at lunch without having to queue!

  5. hi Missklicious : thank you :) yeah...i can't wait to properly try them out too !

    hi Helen : LOL so truffle fries in exchange for wagyu corned beef ? either we wait till the crowd settles, or we just have to have extra early lunch ! :D

  6. holy crapppp!! u lucky girl! the yellow dragonfruit and chocolate fruit got me all curious! gotta try the wagyu burger too!

  7. Monicaaaaa it was so lovely to meet you the other day. Im guttered I didnt get to take a photo of Michael Moore I was too busy eyeing his food that idiot me forgot LOL!!!!

    MMm still thinking about the reuben sanga. I cant stop thinking about how good beef was.

  8. hi Tina : it's always nice when I met the person behind the blog I read :D

    hi Betty : lol !! yeah, i was soo excited when i got the infite ! try the truffle fries with it :D

    hi Leona : Leooonnaaaaaa it was lovely to meet you too LOL I can't resist my curiosity, so I bear the crowd and went there on Sun ! It was sooo goooddd >__<