Category Archives: Fine Dining

Auckland – Sidart

For our last meal we went to a restaurant that like to push the boundaries and offers a Discovery menu. The six amuse were quite good and fun and not very filling while we both thought the celeriac and scampi dishes were lacking in big flavors. The scampi could’ve used salt or been cooking in ghee. The fish was great and was K’s favorite and while I liked it too the pork and duck really did it for me. Just don’t like how the protein was hidden under veggies on a few dishes.

DSC02444_edited

Miso – olive, thyme

DSC02445_edited

Pomme Souffle – vinegar

DSC02446_edited

Carrot – farro, linseed

DSC02447_edited

Pecorino – artichoke, sumac

DSC02448_edited

Daikon – sesame, nam jim

DSC02449_edited

Shiitake – white soy, kaffir lime

DSC02452_edited

Celeriac – bone marrow, hazelnut, apple

DSC02455_edited

Scampi – nasturtium, seaweed

DSC02458_edited

John Dory – kohlrabi, macadamia, horseradish

DSC02461_edited

Pork Belly – mushroom, leek, turnip

DSC02463_edited

Duck – radicchio, date, foie gras

DSC02464_edited

DSC02466_edited

Parmesan – black garlic, Sauternes

DSC02469_edited

Fennel – sorrel, cucumber, passionfruit

DSC02472_edited

Pine – black sesame, raspberry, eldferflower

DSC02478_edited

Salted Caramel

DSC02443_edited

We had the chef’s table so got to see all the action

DSC02450_edited

Advertisements

Queenstown – The Bunker

For my friend’s last night in town we headed over to the Bunker for their tasting menu. It was relatively short and we were able to make the steep climb back to our accommodation. He and K went for the seafood options while I chose the meat options, unfortunately the hunters couldn’t get a boar so my first course was venison instead. The food was excellent and it felt like we were in a NYC 70s steakhouse with the dark wood panels and a fire place, the pictures from 70s movies like James Bond and Breakfast at Tiffany’s just added to the time warp feeling.

DSC01892_editedDSC01893_editedDSC01894_edited

DSC01899_edited

Mozzarella, Tomato, Balsamic

DSC01900_edited

Scallops – cauliflower pannacotta, roasted pork emulsion

DSC01901_edited

Venison – loin & rillettes, artichoke hearts

DSC01903_edited

Abalone – black foot paua beignets, smoked oyster gribiche, parmesan croute, aromatic cream

DSC01905_edited

Hare Loin – horopito braised leg, confit kumura, sour cherries, kawakawa juice

DSC01908_edited

Berry Sorbet

DSC01909_edited

Salmon – saffron clam skordalia, roasted fish soil, gaspacho gel, kale

DSC01911_edited

Lamb Backstrap – shoulder ragu, noisette potatoes, minted broad bean yoghurt, juniper juice

DSC01913_edited

Kiwi Pavlova – strawberries, mascarpone, kiwi fruit granita, pistachio crumb

DSC01914_edited

Brie, Blue, and Manchego

DSC01918_edited

Queenstown – Jervois Steak House

We were recommended JSH by the host at another restaurant we wanted to dine at but they were full. K and I will be going in a few days but unfortunately my buddy will already be gone by then. It was a very good recommendation, I’m always wary of going to a steakhouse since it’s an easy meal to make at home and I was seriously considering having the duck breast but after reading about how their different types of cows are raised I decided to take the chance and get one. I was not disappointed, even my friend who shares my opinion was highly impressed with it, perfectly seasoned and cooked.
I went with the Wakanui Blue cattle are grass fed initially then finished on grain for the last 70 to 90 days. Like the grass-fed equivalent Angus, it has characteristic fat marbling running through the muscle but due to being grain fed the marbling is much greater and more intense throughout.
The ravioli were light and flavorful, the sauce wasn’t too strong so could really taste the meat. The marrow was great and a lot of it, much different than in the US where sometimes only get 3-4mm of marrow since the bone is so thick. There was a bit of meat and gristle on the other side of the bone and SSW and I went cavemen and picked them up to get as much off as we could, I suspect the kitchen anticipated this since it was seasoned with some salt. Both he and K went for the venison and it tasted great, just not as good as my steak. The onion rings were so good I asked if they had been cooked in beef tallow but it was canola oil. I have no idea how they got them to taste that good but I’d go back just to get a basket that I don’t have to share.

DSC01870_edited

Crayfish Ravioli

DSC01871_edited

Roasted Bone Marrow

DSC01872_edited

Venison – goat cheese, beets

DSC01873_edited

Wakanui Rump Steak

DSC01874_edited

Best Onion Rings Ever

DSC01869_edited

 

 

Sydney – Tetsuya’s

After a day of walking around Sydney for a bit I was ready for another tasting menu. Thankfully this meal was shorter and featured lots of seafood so it was a bit more easy to get through. My friend asked me which meal I liked better and it’s almost impossible, Tetsuya is much more subtle and smooth in creating his dishes compared to Attica’s bold, contrasting flavors. The trout and duck were my favorites. The duck tasted like Chinese roast duck, I could eat that skin for days.

DSC01396_edited

Spanner Crab – yuzu kosho, clam vinaigrette

DSC01399_edited

Kingfish – pickled daikon, ice plant

DSC01403_edited

Confit of Ocean Trout – apple, witlof

DSC01407_edited

Gold Band Snapper – radish, avruga

DSC01411_edited

Duck Breast – jerusalem artichoke, turnip cream

DSC01414_edited

Wagyu Sirloin – king brown mushrooms, kale

DSC01416_edited

Yuzu Sorbet

DSC01420_edited

Tetsuya’s Chocolate Cake

DSC01422_edited

DSC01423_edited

Petite Fours

I chose the Australian wine pairing over the international one. Two of the wines are made exclusively for Tetsuya’s.

Melbourne – Attica

My main reason for visiting Melbourne was to eat at Attica. After watching the Chef’s Table episode I knew it was a meal worth traveling for. Like a lot of top restaurants these days, Attica only sells whole tables and I didn’t know anyone in Melbourne. Thankfully a friend in Sydney did and I had a lovely dinner companion and didn’t have to attempt to eat two meals.
Everything about the meal was incredible except some of the wine pairings. Had a sour beer and I’m not a huge fan of beer and there was only one red. Had a sherry that was very nice and the two dessert wines were good but a tad too sweet. The flavors in each dish were great and my new friend and I both agreed there was great textural elements. The vegemite in the pie wasn’t very strong, in fact it was one of my favorite dishes. Really hard to pick a favorite savory dish since they were all so different. The pork was melt in your mouth, avocado super fresh, blood pudding tart extraordinary, carrot super sweet, succulent lamb…you get the picture.

DSC01249_edited

Cook’s Leaves and Sour Cream

DSC01251_edited

Aged Santa Claus Melon

DSC01253_edited

DSC01255_edited

Pearl Cooked in Paperbark

DSC01254_edited

Smashed Avo on Toast

DSC01256_edited

Smoked Pork

DSC01257_edited

An Imperfect History of Ripponlea

DSC01260_edited

Gazza’s Vegemite Pie

DSC01261_edited

Scallop and Wattlesoy

DSC01262_edited

Chewy Carrots

DSC01265_edited

Mutton Shell

DSC01269_edited

Sour Damper

DSC01270_edited

Kangaroo, Wattles and Waxflower

DSC01273_edited

All Parts of the Pumpkin

DSC01275_edited

Grilled Marron with Desert Lime

DSC01276_edited

Jumbuck (sheep) and Tulips

DSC01279_edited

Hot Jam Doughnut and Gumbi Gumbi

DSC01284_edited

Camel Milk Ice (little black specks are ants)

DSC01287_edited

Whipped Emu Egg with Quandong

DSC01288_edited

Attica Cheftales

DSC01282_edited

Singapore – 2am Dessert Bar

We somehow still had room for more dessert after dinner. The pastry chef Janice Wong is now famous in Asia for her desserts that really are works of art and still taste great.

DSC01142_edited

Shades of Green – pistachio sponge, coco mousse, pandan ice cream

DSC01143_edited

Cassis Plum – cassis bombe, elderflower yoghurt foam, choya granita

DSC01144_edited

Chocolate H2O – 65% dark chocolate, salted caramel, kochi yuzu sorbet

Singapore – Candlenut

Back to Peranakan cuisine for dinner but this time it’s a modern take on the dishes. We ordered the “ah-ma-kase” based on a friend’s suggestion whose been dining at Candlenut through all three iterations of the restaurant. Ahma means grandmother and chef originally took his grandmother’s recipe and started playing with them, since then he’s progressed to¬† creating even more dishes, all of which are delicious.

DSC01124_edited

Smoked Octopus

DSC01125_edited

Satay

DSC01126_edited

Crab cup

DSC01127_edited

Seafood meatball

DSC01128_edited

Iberico Pork Secreto – dried shrimp chili, laksa

DSC01129_edited

Roast Duck Curry – shallot, chestnut

DSC01130_edited

Squid – squid ink, tamarind

DSC01131_edited

Shrimp Salad

DSC01132_edited

Red Snapper – chili sambal, garlic chives

DSC01134_edited

DSC01135_edited

Kueh Salat – bangkit crumble, coconut sorbet

DSC01136_edited

Bulah Keluak ice cream, chocolate, chilli, warm, chocolate espuma

DSC01137_edited

“Mango” – sago, lime and mint granita

DSC01138_edited

Mao Shan Wang ice cream, durian, koeh rose