Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Bar Ume & Ume Burger - Barangaroo & Surry Hills, Sydney

Bar Ume is the newly branded burger bar that has replaced Ume Restaurant at the Surry Hills site. This and the waterfront space at Barangaroo are all about burgers in a more casual and relaxed setting.

Bar Ume Surry Hills

Bar Ume is a great spot to grab an after work drink, along with some bar food nibbles and of course, burgers. The burgers at Ume have a Japanese twist to them and are delicious. I'm pretty enamoured with the burgers at Bar Ume, so a week or so after it's off to check out the Barangaroo location; this blog post is a mish-mash of my visits to both Bar Ume and Ume Burger.

Umeroni

I start with the Umeroni, a very strong drink with Campari, gin and Umeshu. I do like my drinks to be on the alcoholic side, but this one takes me a while to get through.

The menu has a good selection of drinks, a handful of side dishes, and the star of the show, the burgers. There's also some interesting flavours for the house made sodas, such as yuzu and brown sugar, or passionfruit and ginger. 

Passionfruit and ginger soda

The burgers arrive wrapped in this cute old school hamburger paper.

Ume burger

Menchi (pork katsu) burger

Onion rings

Japanese pickles

Koji fried chicken

The Ume Burger is up there with one of the best cheeseburgers in Sydney, and the pork katsu Menchi burger is lovely too. However, the ebi prawn katsu burger with Japanese mayo and shredded cabbage is my firm favourite by miles - I could easily eat this burger all the time.

The Japanese pickles are different from the usual vinegary and tart variety - these have a distinct flavour and are quite salty. It helps to cut through the richness of the gloriously crispy Koji fried chicken and the umami seasoned onion rings.

The Barangaroo location is a great place to grab some takeaway and sit by the water, plus also has soft serves on offer, which I'm very keen to check out!


Bar Ume Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoUme Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Agrestic Grocer - Orange, NSW


There's no shortage of fabulous cafes in Orange and The Agrestic Grocer definitely tops the list. On one side is the rustic cafe with a menu filled with locally grown produce, and the other side is filled with a retail space. It's the ideal spot to have brunch and pop into the store to stock up on local produce before heading back to Sydney.

The Agrestic Grocer

Unfortunately, we are too early for lunch so we order off the breakfast menu, which is a shame as the lunch menu looked amazing. 

Avocado and tomato on sourdough

The avocado and tomato on sourdough is so simple but hits the spot, especially when you have such great and fresh produce. I can't help but get a side of the Second Mouse cheese company haloumi on the side. 

The retail side also stocks a few of the Second Mouse cheeses too; I buy some of the delicious haloumi to take home as well.

Pancakes

The pancakes aren't presented very well but they are fluffy and delicious. Since it's autumn, the pancakes are served with poached plums. I imagine in summer, these would come with some lovely and colourful berries. 

After eating, it's time to pop in next door for some goodies. There's a wholefoods section where you can buy things by the scoop, plus lots of fresh local fruit and veg. There's free range eggs, nuts and like I mentioned earlier, Second Mouse cheese company items. 

A highly recommended visit if you're ever in Orange. Check out my other Orange posts here:



Agrestic Grocer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Dessert Kitchen - Chinatown, Sydney

Cold sweet treats are definitely the perfect cure to the scorching heatwave we've been experiencing of late. There's a new dessert place in town located right next to Wagaya: Dessert Kitchen.

Green tea sago with red bean and mochi 

First up is the green tea sago. It's an interesting one as I'm usually used to having sago with coconut milk. The green tea flavour is on the mild side, but pairs nicely with red bean and the chewy mochi pieces. I don't think I would order this again,

The Mid-Summer Festival

The Mid-Summer Festival is a refreshing sundae made with mango ice cream, yuzu kanten, mango pomelo, chocolate pearls and vanilla ice cream.

Japanese green tea soba

This little trio reminds of the desserts in Hong Kong. The Japanese green tea soba set comes with green tea kanten, mango, mini rice balls with coconut and mango juice. I feel like the mango and green tea flavours are mismatched and doesn't tie in together in a set.

Black glutinous rice with coconut milk

I had to do a double take when the black glutinous rice with coconut milk was brought out as it did not resemble the picture in the menu at all. I assume that this was due to ordering the dish cold instead of warm, as I've seen pictures on Instagram that look like the menu photo. Looks aside, it's a decent glutinous rice dessert; my only issue was that it was a bit too thick in consistency.

Even though a couple of desserts didn't quite hit the mark, I still think it's a pretty good dessert place and a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. My favourite was the sundae, and I'll definitely be back during this weekend's heatwave to cool down!
The Dessert Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Botanic Gardens Restaurant - Botanic Gardens, Sydney

The Botanic Gardens Restaurant is in a picturesque location in the heart of the garden grounds. I was here recently for Viv's birthday lunch, and it's my first time trying any of the restaurants located in the Botanic Gardens. 


It's a lovely walk to the restaurant with plenty of flowers on display. The restaurant itself is lovely; it's open and airy, with a nice view of the surrounding gardens. The ceiling fans provide a welcome breeze during a hot summer day. 

The menu is set with an alternate drop since we are a larger group. I've never heard of having the alternate drop for anything besides events like weddings.

Dill citrus cured salmon

My starter was the dill citrus cured salmon with cream cheese, ribbons of cucumber and beetroot, served atop seeded crostini. It was a lovely and light dish - perfect for summer.

Gippsland beef carpaccio

Spring vegetable risotto

The carpaccio and risotto were the other two entree options, which I both taste tested. The carpaccio is tasty - it's served with quail egg, parmesan, dijon and a handful of rocket leaves. The spring risotto is more like a generous main serving size, the portion is massive! The risotto is cheesy and has generous amounts of zucchini, it is on the bland side though.

Crisp battered chips

The chips on the other hand, are delicious; it's hard to just stop at a few. The crisp and piping hot chips are sprinkled with sea salt and come with a side of aioli.

Pan fried gnocchi

The mains were also hearty portions. I had the pan fried gnocchi with a tomato based sauce, buffalo mozzarella, basil, zucchini and asparagus.

Overall, The Botanic Gardens Restaurant is a nice venue with very generous portions - great for a group gathering. 
Botanic Gardens Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Doubleshot - Deakin, Canberra

Double Shot is a great cafe addition to the Deakin shops. It's a fairly large space, with ample indoor and outdoor dining areas, and it's quite busy on a Friday morning. Doubleshot has been on my Canberra hit list for a while, so I take the opportunity to try it out during my last day of a week long work trip. 

Most people are here for their morning takeaway coffee fix, though the seats also start filling up pretty quickly as the morning progresses.

Service is friendly but on the slow side, not sure if they were understaffed on this particular morning.


I'm dining with my mum and we opt to share two dishes - one savoury and one sweet. For the savoury option, I choose a healthy hot smoked salmon with quinoa, greens and a poached egg. It feels good to get an intake of vegetables during breakfast, plus it's pretty hearty thanks to the quinoa and salmon.


My eyes lit up when I saw the french toast special on the blackboard; coconut crusted french toast with strawberry mascarpone, ripple yoghurt, vanilla cream, meringue and strawberry curd. It's fruity and light, with just the right balance of sweetness. 



Enticed by the display of sweets, I get this nice cream to go. It's a vegan 'ice-cream' filled with chocolate mousse and is the perfect snack for the plane ride home.


Double Shot Deakin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 9 January 2017

The Cupping Room - Civic, Canberra

The Cupping Room is a firm brunch favourite when I go back to Canberra. Judging by the lines on any given weekend, I'd say it's also pretty damn popular with the locals.

Espresso

I've probably mentioned this before, but the coffee at The Cupping Room is either ordered with milk or black, no choice different varieties eg. latte, piccolo etc

Soul shake

This is honestly the best shake I've ever had. The vegan soul shake consisted of a fruity and refreshing blend of watermelon, lychee, coconut and chia. Usually I have a few sips of a shake and start feeling full, but this was so bloody good I had to refrain from finishing it in two seconds - fingers crossed this shake is a regular feature on their menu.

Salmon tartare

Crumbled haloumi burger

The salmon tartare comes with beetroot puree, a poached egg, creme fraiche with salmon roe and thin slices of crispbread. The haloumi burger comes with a batch of hot chips - can't go wrong with chips. I would've preferred the slice of haloumi to be less thick or pan fried instead.

The food is always consistently good and it's never too much of a wait for a table, despite the occasional long line.

The Cupping Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Road trip to Orange



Happy New Year! It's been a while, hasn't it? 2016 has honestly flew past in the blink of an eye.

Now, to a post that has been on my to-do-list for a while. It's been somewhat of a new annual tradition to head to Orange every April for the Orange FOOD week to attend the array of amazing events that are held for the regional food festival.

Last year, we stayed at a cute AirBnB in Millthorpe and ate our way around the Orange Region.


In the heart of Orange is Byng Street Local Store. It's a charming cafe, open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch. It's our first stop after a long drive from Sydney, so we decide to have brunch and a wine here.

The food here is simple, with menu items such as sandwiches and wraps. There's a focus on using local produce from the Central West region. We order the zucchini fritters and a vegetarian toasted sandwich, filled with zucchini, roasted pumpkin, baby spinach and pesto.

Zucchini fritters


Vegetarian toasted sandwich


Byng Street Local Store Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Next stop was some wine tasting at Philip Shaw wines. The cellar door is open everyday from 11am to 5pm, and there's a lovely outdoor area to sit and enjoy the scenery (and a wine or two!) The wine tastings are $10 and reedemable against any wine purchase.

The Idiot Shiraz

I've previously tried The Idiot Shiraz so knew it would be a great choice. Also, most of the wines at Philip Shaw have the most adorable artwork on the labels, which you can see the originals of at the cellar door.

We grab a seat outside and enjoy a substantial cheese platter, which came with a very generous serving of bread and lavosh.

Strawberry tart

We also stop past Racine Bakery so I can have a stickybeak at the delicious pastries on offer. I end up getting this strawberry tart for later.

Racine Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After much researching for a more casual dinner option, we decide on Percy's Bar & Kitchen, a small bar that aims to showcase the best of the Orange region.

Thick cut chips

The chips look a tad pale, but are actually nice and crisp. The chips are seasoned with an oregano salt and served with aioli on the side.

Haloumi and BBQ sweet corn salad

Surprisingly, there are several great vegetarian friendly options, including this asian flavoured haloumi and BBQ sweet corn salad with island slaw and lime vinaigrette. I enjoy the addition of fresh herbs. 

We forego the traditional desserts in favour of something more liquid...

Espresso martini

Freshly brewed espresso, shaken with vodka, Kahlua, Cafe Patron XO. This cocktail is not for the faint hearted and packs quite an alcoholic punch.

Sailor Jerry affogato

This is a DIY affogato, served on a wooden platter with an espresso shot, housemade chilli chocolate ice cream, and a very generous of portion of rum. I wasn't a massive fan of the chilli chocolate ice cream combined with the other elements, it would have worked so much better with plain old vanilla.

Percy’s Bar & Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato










I didn't end up booking any FOOD week events in time, so the only Orange FOOD week related thing we actually did was the Sunday producers markets held in Cook Park. It also started drizzling, so it was perfect timing to grab a few things (including the above delicious slab of cake) and make our way back to Sydney.

I will definitely be more organised next time and book in FORAGE (the signature Orange event where you walk through the vineyards and sample food and wine along the way). It always seems to be immensely popular and sells out straight away!


Check out my previous blog post on Orange FOOD week here: http://missklicious.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/orange-food-week-trip.html