Showing posts with label steak. Show all posts
Showing posts with label steak. Show all posts

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

BLACK by Ezard, Pyrmont

Ever since The Star has re-opened after a renovation period that seems to take forever, I've been a regular visitor there - not to gamble , but for the food of course ! Living only within minutes walk to Gelato Messina, Adriano Zumbo and Din Tai Fung definitely cannot be good for the diet - as has been proven by the readings on the bathroom scale T___T

Beside the fancy food court, there are a handful of more fine dining restaurants opening up which , hopefully, I will get to try them all...eventually.

So, first one up is BLACK by Ezard, Teage Ezard that is, of the award winning ezard in Melbourne. Whilst ezard has an Asian flavours, BLACK at The Star is a more what I'd call a steak and seafood restaurant :)

Mini Brioche Loaf, Butter and Black Salt
Within minutes of us being seated, a wooden slab of freshly baked mini loaf of brioche was brought to our table. 
I love brioche and I've been wanting to get my hand on these since I saw them in GastronomousAnonymous' post on this place.
The verdict - it tasted damn good !! 
(Ignore how your fingers are well moisturised as you tear the bread apart)


The brioche was warm, soft and fluffy, though it is already packed with buttery flavour, another lathering of butter and a sprinkle of black salt doesn't hurt, right ?

Drinks Menu on iPad

For drinks menu, we were handed a sleek BLACK black iPad - pretty cool menu :)
Peruse the menu, add your choice to the "shopping list", pass the iPad back to the waiter/waitress and wait for your drinks to come - simple.

Jack Rose   $18.00
applejack, lemon, house grenadine
Apani Sparkling Water  $10.00 for 750ml

Oysters   $12.00
yuzu and wakame jelly

We got the oysters to share, they are Mooney Mooney pacific fresh water oysters served with yuzu juice and wakame jelly.

The wakame jelly reminds me of moss on the rocks, or was it meant to resemble real wakame ?
I thought it could be presented in a more appealing appearance, although there is nothing wrong with the flavours. The combination of the jelly and yuzu compliments the fresh oysters. 

Spanner Crab  $29.00
avocado, butter lettuce, apple remoulade, parsley ginger meringue

The spanner crab salad is a plate of greens....the salad was creamy and sweet, the crunch of the green apple added a nice texture to the dish.
Also liked the parsley ginger meringue, the ginger flavour was quite distinct. 

Beef Tartare   $25.00
heirloom beets, mustard ice cream, puffed wild rice

Love the colours of my chosen entree, underneath the sheath of beet root jelly was the beef tartare.
It is quite creamy compared to beef tartare dishes that I've had before, my guess was maybe something creamy like creme fraiche was mixed with it ?

Steak Tartare

The tartare was well seasoned, the flavours were nicely balanced. 
The mustard ice cream was odd but surprisingly delicious ! It is creamy and cold like an ice cream should but with the flavour of hot mustard - worked very well with everything else on the plate. 
Loved the idea :)

Grass Fed Angus Fillet 200g  $45.00

My friend ordered the grass fed Angus fillet from the grill menu, I must say I am quite surprised it doesn't come with anything else on the plate, considering the price tag. 
The sauces were extra and we got the marrow and shallot sauce to accompany the steak. 

Marrow and Shallot Sauce   $4.00

The steak though cooked as ordered, was quite bland in flavour. The marrow and shallot sauce was a very rich sauce and I'm afraid the marrow had a very strong flavour, stronger than usual I thought. 

Veal   $45.00
tenderloin, sweetbreads, asparagus, mushrooms, natural jus

Luckily I had more luck with my choice of main. The veal tenderloin was indeed tender and had more flavour than the steak. The sweetbreads was lightly crumbed and fried, it is crispy on the outside although I felt that it was overcooked as it was borderline tough, not as creamy as sweetbreads should be. 

Jasmine Pearl Tea  $5.00

Lemon Curd  $18.00
citrus shortbread, candied endive, liquorice, pink grapefruit

We decided to order just one dessert to share , after much deliberating, we chose something that sounded different - candied endive ? Hmmmm....
Yet once again, a combination that sounded odd turns out to be great ! 
Served with apple calvados sorbet were the tangy lemon curd, along with broken shortbread pieces, bitter tart grapefruit wedges and the surprisingly delicious candied endive.
It was interesting, the bitter taste of endives then sweet , the liquorice crumbs was delicious as well, the taste is distinct yet delicate. 

The entrees and desserts are worth a try, however we both agree that the mains were passable. 
Service was a hit and miss, whilst they were polite and courteous, throughout the night our glass of water was only filled once, and we had to ask them twice before they got filled.
To my surprise they charged us for another bottle which I am pretty sure we didn't even finish the whole 750ml of the first one as they only fill 1/3 of our glass at each pouring. 
Pointed it out to the waiter and he took off the extra bottle without further questions, so that was cool.

So there you go, first of the fine dining restaurant at The Star that I've tried - what's the next destination ?

Black By Ezard on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Chophouse, Sydney CBD

Old New York steakhouse vibe

Chophouse is the sister restaurant of Kingsley's Steak House, located in the business district in Sydney CBD.
Last I dined here was back in June 2009 - didn't realize it had been that long !!
So when Sarah Ashmore from Pacific Restaurant Group invited me to dine at Chophouse, I was very much looking forward to it and managed to "drag" a more than willing friend to come along ^_^ 

Rustic Decor

The concept of Chophouse is to bring the good quality meats, seafood and big salads (they are not joking about big salad here, as you will see later in the post) to Sydneysiders.
I love how rustic the decor is, inspired by old New York steakhouses with cosy and private booths covered in distressed leather, while recycled timber and iron clad walls were used throughout the dining room. 

Table Setting & Seasonal Specials

It was midweek when we dined at Chophouse, so as expected the restaurant was packed with suit cladded businessmen and women, winding down in the outdoor bar area or having dinner with colleagues inside.
We were greeted at the front desk by the very happy Aaron who brought us to our booth. 
Not long after, the charming and very knowledgeable Adrian came over explaining their new Summer specials and the regular a la carte menu. 

Lychee, Lemongrass & Ginger Mocktail ; Kirin Beer 

The lovely Sarah remembered that I'm allergic to alcohol, so she has arranged with the bar to whip up a mocktail for me ! Thanks very much for remembering ! \^o^/
The bartender made a non-alcoholic concoction of lychee, fresh lemongrass and fresh ginger, mixed with  lemonade. 
I must say...this had to be the most delicious mocktail I've ever had so far - the blend of the exotic flavours worked so well together to create a very refreshing drink. As the night goes by, the lemongrass and ginger continued to infuse into the drink - delicious !
My friend (who can drink alcohol obviously), had a cold crisp glass of Kirin Beer instead.

Sourdough Bread & Butter ; Dining Tables

We took longer than usual to decide on what to order, luckily Adrian was there to the rescue :)
He suggested perhaps a choice of starter and a chopped salad to start with, and then he explained some of the favourites from the chops and meat selection. 
I was tossing between choosing one of the steak or the Glazed Beef Short Rib that has been cooked for 3 days in a special sauce, then further braised for 6 hours - imagine how tender the meat would be *drool*.

S & P

It was a lovely surprises when Executive Chef, David Clarke, popped out from his busy kitchen to say hello :D
He has been heading the kitchen since the restaurant was first opened back in August 2008. 
Under the supervision of Chef David, the restaurant was chosen as the National Winner for Favourite Steak by the cable TV's Lifestyle Food "I Love Foods 2010 Award" - which was a great award as the winner is selected by votes from regular diners throughout Australia - well done ^_^

Ceviche of Hiramasa Kingfish
European Radish, Organic Flowers & Avruga Caviar

When I saw this dish on the menu, I knew I just had to order it as it sounded pretty hehehe :P
As you can see, it is indeed a pretty dish - actualy....VERY pretty !
The organic flowers added such vibrancy to the dish and looked how neatly laid out were the thinly sliced discs of the European radish.

More prettiness shot...

The Hiramasa Kingfish were as fresh as you can get them, sweet and firm textured. It was served on a bed of light lemon mayonnaise and the crunchy radishes add texture to the dish.
Love the peppery flavour of micro shiso (Japanese perilla) and the random burst of saltiness from the black pearls of Avruga caviar.
It was a perfect summery starter - rich yet light and refreshing (also pretty ^_*).

Crisp Pork Belly & Sea Scallop 
Chinese Cabbage, Coriander, Pea Shoots & Soy Vinaigrette

Like I said earlier, they are not just saying it when they say "big salad" was a mountain of salad !!
As recommended by Adrian, we ordered the most popular chopped salad in the house, the one that people would return for just to have it. 
While I was busy taking (endless) shots of the kingfish ceviche dish, my friend had the first mouthful of the salad and the next thing I heard was "Mmm......" and followed by humming and singing of Disney's Aladdin's "A Whole New World" - ROFL !

After the unexpected singing performance, I just had to put away my camera and scooped some onto my plate...

Three words : Yum..Yum...Yum

I didn't burst into singing but I must agree, it was delicious !!! 
The crispy pork belly was packed with flavours with nicely caramelized skin and the scallop was done very well, still slightly pink in the centre and sweet. 
It was an Asian themed salad with finely shredded chinese cabbage, coriander, pea shoots, marinated sliced shiitake mushrooms, fried shallots, soba noodles and fried wonton chips. 
The dressing was delicious, a blend of rice vinegar, mirin, seeded mustard and sesame.
This is definitely a must order dish if you dine here at Chophouse - perhaps you will burst into singing and dancing ?
It is a big serving of salad though, so best to be shared between 3 - 4 people , the two of us were struggling to finish it :)

Rib Cage Ceiling ^_^
Scotch & Dry

While waiting for our main, my friend ordered a Scotch & Dry - a cocktail of scotch whisky and ginger ale. He said it was a very well mixed Scotch & Dry , very smooth.
Thumbs up for the mocktail and thumbs up for the cocktail too !

F1 Wagyu Tenderloin MB 5+ (250g) , QLD
Maitre d' Butter & Pomme Puree

Now...for something more filling and well...meaty ^_^
Decided to pass on the short rib this time and go for the recommended F1 QLD Wagyu Tenderloin with Marble Score 5+ - melt in your mouth fat...hmmmm....
It's a 250g cut which was just the perfect portion size, cooked medium rare and topped with cubes of Café de Paris butter - butter blended with a long list of spices, sauces and herbs. The heat from the steak melts the butter overtime and it just lifted up the already flavourful piece of wagyu tenderloin. Served with a side of pomme puree.

Double Double Lamb Chops ( 2 x 180g) , Margaret River - WA
Mint Jelly

My friend loves his lamb, so I knew that he was gonna order the lamb chops at the end (after tossing between steak or lamb, steak or lamb - predictable).
Each of the perfectly trimmed and shaped lamb chops weighs 180g and came from the Margaret River in WA. 
The lamb were ordered to be cooked medium to well and served with a side of mint jelly.
I had a bite of the lamb (for tasting purposes only), though the lamb flavour is still too strong for me, it had a really nice caramelized crust and was surprisingly tender considering how it was requested to be cooked. The mint jelly added more sweetness to the lamb, I liked it better with as it does mask the strong lamb flavour a bit ^_^
As expected, the meat was quite red still towards the bone, but was still bearable for my friend.

Medium Rare Tenderloin ; Medium - Well Done Lamb Chops

Both of our orders were cooked as we have requested them, mine was medium rare just how I like it, still red in the middle.
The lamb as mentioned early was also done well, cooked well done but still retains its tenderness and juiciness. 

Baby Spinach
Labna & Lemon Confit Vinaigrette

Ordered a couple of sides as Adrian suggested to go with our meat. 
Needed something green to balance out the meal - the baby spinach was lightly wilted and then tossed with crunchy cucumber, crumbles of labna cheese, olives then dressed with tangy and zesty lemon confit vinaigrettee.
A perfect accompaniment to the rich mains.

Potato Puree
Victorian Dutch Creams

The potato puree was nice though perhaps too much cream or butter in it, it was a tad too rich and perhaps could be smoother as it was also a little bit grainy.

Skipped tea and coffee but can't say no to desserts of course ^_^

House Churned Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
w/ Hot Chocolate & Honeycomb

I must say, my friend's tummy needs more training, he couldn't fit anything much more than a scoop of ice cream -___-; Which I end up polishing off not underestimate the expanding stomach space of a foodie !! (or perhaps I should be embarrased instead ? LOL).
The choices for ice creams on the night were chocolate, vanilla and apple and also 3 choices for the sorbets which I cannot remember anymore *sorry*.
The dark chocolate ice cream was very smooth and rich, didn't really need the extra chocolate sauce though extra sweetness from the crunchy honeycomb doesn't hurt :) 

Alpine Strawberries & Cream
Vanilla Panna Cotta, Strawberries & Young Coconut Granita

Obviously I chose this dessert because it sounded like it's gonna be a pretty one :P
Served in a glass were a layer of creamy vanilla panna cotta, a layer of strawberry jelly, topped with macerated strawberries and last but not least a final capping of snow like young coconut granita.

Snow in A Glass

The young coconut granita was the highlight of the dessert, it tasted just like the real stuff, except it's ice and very refreshing. 
It may looked like a rich dessert but the flavours were so light and there were just the right proportion of each components. 

Chophouse Swiss Milk Chocolate Block
(photo from visit back in 2009)

If you are just after something simple to finish off your meal, there are Chophouse Swiss Milk Chocolate blocks on the menu as well - served on a chopping block with your own cleaver to hack away !!
We didn't get one on this visit, so the above photo were from when I dined here in 2009. 
There seems to be more flavours now on the menu : caramelized hazelnuts, rocky road and jaffa top deck.

I remembered having an enjoyable meal when I dined at Chophouse a few years back when they have their special roast dinner. 
Not being biased because I was invited to dine here this time round, but the foods seems to have stepped up a few notches :) 
Everything we had that night were delicious and the presentation were perfect (few pretty ones :D).
The drinks that came out from the bar were wonderful as well, both the alcoholic and the non - alcoholic ones.
The service was friendly and courteous and the staffs do know their stuffs.
Special thanks to Aaron & Adrian for looking after us, Chef David for preparing the delicious meals and Sarah for the invitation. 

We had a wonderful dining experience and went home with full stomachs and smiles ^_^

Love My Foods & Sugar dined as guest of Chophouse, courtesy of Sarah Ashmore of Pacific Restaurant Group.

Chophouse on Urbanspoon

Friday, 12 November 2010

Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse Sydney, Woolloomooloo

Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse

Thanks to Sarah Ashmore of Pacific Restaurant Group, I found myself dining with and meeting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 other food bloggers ( for the first time !) at Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse Restaurant in Woolloomooloo. We were also joined by the lovely Sarah and Tim Muschamp, the manager.
This flagship restaurant of Kingsleys name has been at this prime location on The Wharf for 10years and they have just undergo a major revamp of the restaurant. 
I have never been here before so I can't comment on how much things have improved, but I found the ambience is pleasant, slightly formal but not too uptight. Then again, how can you beat dining outdoor on the decks on a warm Spring night ? :D

Mocktail ; Mango & Chilli Daiquiri

Since alcohol is a no go zone for me,  I've got a mocktail made up to go with my chosen entree. Michael, the assistant manager and wine master, suggested something robust to go with my chosen entree.
So Charlie, the bar manager, whipped up an amazing mocktail of Grapefruit Jam & Cranberry Sour. 
Don't be put off by the odd sounding combination, it was delicious and refreshing ! 
Love the slight bitterness from the grapefruit that balances out the sweetness of the drink. 

For those of you who are lucky to be able to drink alcohol, do not go pass the cocktail menu. 
They all sounded so good, but the most popular one on our table that night was the Mango & Chilli Daiquiri, made with mango sorbet with a kick of chilli.

Happy bloggers ; Table setting ;
Tools for the night ; Outdoor dining

Bread & Butter 

As soon as our order of entrees were taken, wooden boards carrying warm crusty bread and cold butter were swiftly placed on the table. 
The breads were fresh out of the oven so they seem, the crust were thin and crunchy while the inside was warm and soft as cloud (not that I've had cloud before).

Burrata Mozarella Salad $21.90
Heirloom Tomato, Basil, Balsamic Reduction
(photo borrowed from Suze *Thanks Suze!!*)

There were 3 entrees to choose from tonight and they cater for all needs - a vegetarian, seafood and meat option.
Reading the reaction on the faces of the buratta mozarella eaters who were all sitting across the table, I think it was safe to deduct that this refreshing dish got the 2 thumbs up !!
Simple combination of flavours but definitely delivered a big impact :)

Baby Octopus
Chilli, Salt & Pepper 

Betty who sat next to me was kind enough to offer me her baby octopus entree :) 
The baby octopus was lightly crumbed and deep fried till golden and crispy. There was a right balance of the chilli, salt and pepper on it, it was definitely one moorish entree.

Steak Tartare ~ $18.50
Truffle Aioli, Sourdough Crostini, Watercress Salad

If you are game for some raw beef, then you must order this amazing steak tartare for your entree.
You can opt to have them mixed by the chef like me, or unmixed like John did. With the unmixed steak tartare, you get a tray of condiments to mix and match to your liking - I wouldn't know how much of each to add so I went for the safe option :P

Mixed Steak Tartare ~ $17.90

I've had steak tartare in other places before, but this one had to be the best I've ever had. The salty, sour, spicy (Tabasco) flavours were very well balanced and trust me, you wouldn't even realize it was raw beef you are eating. Topped with a soft boiled quail egg with still oozing yolk, eat the tartare with ultra thin crispy crostini...mmmm....
The steak tartare was the highlight of the dinner for me :) 

Alaskan King Crab Legs ~ $19.90/200g or $55.90/600g
Served Chilled with Mayonnaise

The Alaskan king crab legs arrived prettily propped up on a bed of crushed ice. These crabs are best served chilled and accompanied with simple mayonnaise. 
As delicious crabs can be, I think we would all agree that they are such a pain to eat. I usually avoid eating them in restaurants because they will end up everywhere on the plate (or table) instead of in my mouth where it should be !

Tadaah !! Perfect leg meat !

However, Alaskan King Crab are so easy to eat ! Most of the meats are on the legs and they just came off the shell with just one tug - perfection ! 
The crab meat was really fresh, sweet and well.."meaty" :) It really didn't need any other thing to go with it as it is naturally already full of flavours. 

Beside the Alaskan crab, the good old QLD Mud Crab is also on the menu, either served chilled with mayonnaise, cooked in Singapore chilli sauce or simply cooked with salt & pepper. 

Lars Svensson, Kingsleys Group Executive Chef
in Super Carving Action 

Chef Lars came out from the kitchen to carve our main dish, Beef Wellington for 2, by the side table. 
He was carving at super fast speed and the server was grabbing the plates off at super speed as well.
It was so quick that being the food bloggers we are, asked whether they could slow down LOL
They did slowed down for us, but as you can see, it made no difference to the quality of shots I took *sob*

Beef Wellington For 2 (Pre Order Only) ~ $68.90
400g Eye Fillet, Mushroom Duxelle in Puff Pastry w/ Red Wine Jus

Each of us got half of the wellington - so that's200g each !! The beef wellington was so perfectly cooked, the beef was pink in the middle, love the creamy mushroom duxelle between the beef and the crispy flaky pastry. 

With Tim's threat of "If you don't finish the wellington, no dessert for you!", I tried to be good (I want my dessert) but I just couldn't finish it.
Sorry beef wellington, you were so yummy but I can't eat more....

Charred New Season Asparagus & Parmesan ~ $9.90

We were also served 3 side dishes to accompany our main. The new season asparagus was chunky and nicely charred, perhaps a tad too overcooked for my liking, I like my asparagus to be slightly crunchy still. 

Zucchini, Peas, Mint & Persian Fetta ~ $9.90

I've never had this combination before and I am surprised how good they tasted. Not a big fan of zucchini, but combined with the peas, mint and fetta - tasted healthy and good.....

Iceberg Salad, Radish & Blue Cheese ~ $11.90

If you have been reading my blog, you would know that my nemesis in the cheese group are blue cheese closely followed by goat's cheese. 
With great hesitation, I took a wedge of the salad and took a bite *drumroll....*
To my relief, the blue cheese dressing didn't taste as strong, if anything it tasted like a creamy cheese dressing. 
Love how the salad were presented, the baby iceberg are cut into wedges, slices of radish and pieces of parmesan crips were sprinkled on top, then a drizzle of the blue cheese dressing.
The baby iceberg were very fresh, crisp and sweet - this had to be the best out of the 3 sides tonight :)

Food Bloggers vs Desserts

Sarah took notice on how we struggle with the poor lighting on our table, so she arranged for an extra set of desserts to be placed on a well lighted table inside the restaurant - thanks Sarah :D
Then we all rushed in and started snapping - we must looked pretty ridiculous to the other diners LOL

Toffee Cheesecake with Praline Ice Cream ~ $13.90

I didn't have a taste, but it sure looked decadent and came as a big tall slice. Oh, and it wobbles too like pannacotta ! *wobble*wobble*

Crème Brûlée with Sticky Bluberry Compote ~  $13.50

The crème brûlée I was told has a nice crack as it should but the sugar layer was a tad too thick so it was almost sticky toffee like. Other than that, the flavour was there and it looked like it has a nice set to it. 

Chocolate Brownie & Banana Sundae ~ $13.50

I was sold when I saw chocolate brownie on the menu - SOLD !
There were chunks of chewy, chocolatey brownie, served with sliced banana, vanilla ice cream and no sundae is complete without a red morello cherry on top. 
Served on the side is a pot of chocolate sauce, which on hindsight I shouldn't have emptied onto the sundae - it was too sweet :P
A perfect end to the dinner for me....

Milk & Dark Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans 

The chocolate coated coffee beans were served along with the desserts, coffees and teas. I was so full that I passed on the hot beverages, but of course I took a few of these little morsels :)

Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse is definitely worth a visit if you are looking for some good steaks and crabs. You are in good hands of Chef Lars for your food and leave it to Michael to select the best wines to accompany your meals. 
It was mentioned earlier in the evening that with the current economical situation, they try to recommend wines that may not be pricey but will definitely compliment what you are having. 
Of course if you are in the mood to splurge, they do have a selection of highly priced wine as well. 
If you are after something more fun, Charlie can whip up some classical cocktails with a twist for you or perhaps some friendly mocktails ?

The service throughout the night was faultless, my glass of water never go below the half line , it was always filled back up immediately :)

For other Kingsleys restaurants located in Brisbane and Canberra, please refer to their website

Goodie Bag !
Chocolate Coated Coffee Beans ; Wine ; Steak 

Before we end the night, Tim passed on to each of us a goodie bag to take home : a tin of the chocolate coated beans, a bottle of Sally's Paddock wine and a rib steak along with a cooking instruction on how to cook the perfect steak. 
Thank you ^_^

Love My Foods & Sugar dined as guest of Kingleys Steak & Crabhouse, Sydney.

Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse on Urbanspoon