Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Kikunoi - My 1st 3 Michelin stars restaurant!!

I'll just upload photos and brief description of the dishes as I remember because I've lost the menu *sigh*.. Photos are not doing any justice to the food anyway. I failed big time at taking photos of these dishes... :( Loved the dishes, but I didn't like any of the photos that I took. None of them could show how nice the food was!! 

My sparkling sake. I liked it so much that I went around Kyoto liquor store looking for it. Bought a bottle of it back to Sydney :D Found out that the restaurant only charged little bit more than the shop which we thought was quite good because they didn't try to rip people off haha.. 

**Good news! I found the menu! haha..** So here's the Assortment of appetizers:" horse reins" sushi, ume agar-agar jelly, icefish with yuzu, tofu marinated in red-pickled ume, fuki(coltsfoot) bud marinated in miso, rapini dressed with mustard, cod roe terrine, sweet black beans, wasabi green. Many things on the plate, had never tasted any of these things before. Favourite was actually the wasabi greens. Crunchy sweet refreshing vegetable with a bit of wasabi kick. Very interesting (not to say the rest were not though..) 

Robin's sake. Very nice sake too. We wanted to buy and bring this back as well, but couldn't find it anywhere :( 

Steamed prawn, grated red turnip, ginger served in a cup with a wooden spoon. Upon serving the dish, the waitress gestured to us that we were supposed to stir and mix everything in the cup before eating. So here's photo of the stirred stuff. 

This bowl doesn't look like much, but there were many things in there Sashimi of flounder and botan prawn, prawn roe, flounder liver sauce, udo(wild mountain vegetable) curl, carrot curl, wasabi, marinated fresh nori. The sauce was something really different. Thick and creamy with intense fish flavour, looks almost like a runny peanut butter but taste nothing like it. 

Sashimi of koshini (young bluefin tuna), soy marinated egg yolk sauce. For us Malaysian who grew up on soft boiled eggs, here's the ultimate version of it. I didn't think much of the sashimi, but the egg yolk sauce... oh the sauce... I literally licked the saucer clean. It's like soft boiled egg but only the best part and it was concentrated - so much flavour and so creamy. 

Minced duck, yomogi (Japanese mugwort) dumpling, kujo onion, arrowhead root, giant turnip slice, daikon, carrot, tetragon leaf, gold leaf. Yup, I ate gold. According to the book, this was supposed to make with tortoise. I guess they ran out of tortoise, so we got duck. A lot less exotic :p 

Grilled halibut, dried karasumi (grey mullet roe), shiitake mushroom. See the "crust"? That's the grey mullet roe. Whole piece of halibut is covered with the mullet roe. Perfectly grilled. Sweet, juicy, tender fish with roes going everywhere in the mouth. 

Kumquat-wasabi sorbet. I guessed we did need the palate cleanser after having popping roes all over our mouths :) It was quite strong with wasabi flavour - a bit of the clearing the nostril action there. Very nice though. I don't understand why all the restaurants never give enough of the palate cleanser haha.. 

Steamed cod milt tofu in a san-po-kan citrus cup, red pepper, ponzu. Most unforgettable dish of the meal! That was because we didn't know what milt was haha.. Smells really good, very yummy, very soft, wobbly and creamy. 

Here's a closer look of the cod milt. It doesn't look good, but it's very very nice. Thin membrane on the outside, once bitten, the sweet creamy filling will burst and fill the mouth with it. I thought it was yum, didn't know what it was, thought it looked like a brain or intestine or some internal organs. Then I checked dictionary between dishes and found out "Fish sperm or sperm-filled reproductive gland" Luckily I checked AFTER I ate. 

Hotpot of yellowtail, tofu, shogoin turnip, kintoki carrot, kujo onion, mibuna leaf, ponzu, yuzu. By that time, we were already stuffed. Could barely finish the fish. Didn't even drink the soup. 


Last of the savoury dish - Glutinous rice steamed with anago eel, kinome herb, burdock root and white miso soup, fried burdock root, seven spice powder, pickled daikon stalk, pickled daikon leaf, red pickled chopped eggplant. I remember the pickled egg plant very sour. We were so so stuffed after this. Couldn't finish the rice. It was really good though! So we just ate really really slowly.. 

Finally.. dessert! Strawberry ice cream, strawberry soup. Digress a bit, Japan did have really really nice strawberries. The more expensive the nicer they were. Even saw some white strawberries. Not sure how they taste though. Didn't buy them because they costed like AUD25 for 9 strawberries hahaha.. So if anyone of you have tried the white strawberries let me know. I'm really curious on whether they are nicer than the red strawberries, whether they are worth the money. 

So here's my very first experience in a michelin stars restaurant. Definitely a memorable trip. Highly recommended for those who are visiting Kyoto :) However, booking can only be done via hotel. They won't accept any reservation by direct phone call. 

For more information, please visit their website at http://kikunoi.jp/english/store/

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tomislav

To celebrate our 3rd anniversary, we handed the little monster to in laws and headed to Tomislav at Kings Cross. Thought we should enjoy our night out, so we went for the degustation which wasn't on the menu. Apparently it's just whatever the chef felt like serving on that day. Some might be on the menu, some might not. Sounded fun and adventurous, so we went for it :) 

Started with some awesome rice crackers and a perfume bottle with vinegar in it. So you can have as much or as little vinegar as you want. 

Here's some spraying in action :D

THE best marshmallow ever!! 3 cheese marshmallow. We actually asked the waitress if we could buy these for take away haha.. :p 


Soft Polenta Cream with apple ice and caramel ice cream.  I really like the creamy polenta, but not so sure about mixing it with the cold apple ice... still good though.. 


Churned butter to go with sour dough from the Iggy's bakery. Apparently that bakery got really good bread according to my chef bro in law. Didn't think much of that bread (tasted like a normal sour dough to me haha..) , but I liked the butter. 

Spanish makerel carpaccio with 
salad burnette, mackerel mousse,
prawn crackers. Luckily Robin said he still prefers my mum's homemade prawn crakers. Otherwise he would've gotten into whole lot of trouble hahaha.. :p 

Poached yellow fin tuna with sour potato, rainforest lime, grilled Chinese cabbage. 1 of the best dishes of the night. Next time I'll try making mashed potato with some lime zest on it. Tasted really good!! 

Butter poached scallops with seaweed - peas shoots, Crystal Bay prawns. 

Roast Veal Sweetbread with grilled mango, foie gras crumbs, poached quail’s yolk. The foie gras crumbs were so good!!! It was icy cold, creamy, rich, yet crumbly. So so good. 


Grilled blackmore's tongue with 
sour beetroot, malt ice cream, 
grilled purple onions. 

Interesting salad for extra side dish. Lettuce with hazelnut and cranberries. 

Lastly, Lemon cheesecake with mint crumbs, vanilla ice cream, compressed watermelon. Not sure what does compressed watermelon mean. It looked and tasted like normal watermelon to me haha.. Oh well.. maybe they did something to it but I didn't notice.. 

Overall it was a great night out. Really really happy with the food. Almost had the whole restaurant to ourselves because there weren't anyone else other than 1 other customer that came in half way through out our meal. Service was excellent! As the degustation wasn't on the menu, so I had to quickly write down the dishes on my phone as the waitress served them. Guess what happens with my clumsy fingers? I accidentally deleted the note. Couldn't be bothered trying to remember everything from the start, so I asked the waitress for the menu. She said she would type it out in and email to me which she did the next day. So it was very nice of her. Only thing that didn't work is lighting wasn't perfect for photos. Oh well... sorry people.. If they start opening at lunch time I'll go again and try to take nicer photos heehee.. :) 

Tomislav Restaurant

2/13 Kirketon Rd, Sydney NSW 2010
Tel:02-9356 4535
Hours: 6:00 pm–11:00 pm 
Closed Monday

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Birthday 2012 - Bathers' Pavilion

Don't really have much time to write long and detailed reviews anymore these days but I still like to share some pretty looking food photos. Went to Bathers' Pavilion for my birthday this year. Left the little monster to my mum and best friend who came from overseas (I felt little bit bad though.. they came from overseas and I made them my babysitters). So Robin and I had a really good dinner that night. 

Amuse bouche. I think it was smoked trout something something. Baby brain. So if it's not on the menu, I probably can't remember it even if you get the waiter to repeat it 3 times :p 

Robin wanted to try something different. Something that he doesn't usually order - Brandade soup with smoked eel and roe
potato skins, cranberries and watercress. 

For my entree, I had the Galantine of quail, foie gras and leek ash confit leg, verjuice jelly, mizuna. 

His main - Victorian lamb fillet with confit lamb breast globe artichokes, smoked yoghurt, baby turnips and seeds.
My main - Free range chicken with sea urchin butter, parsnip, baked apple and winter greens. Normally I'm not too keen on ordering chicken, but this time it's the sea urchin butter that got me. Very interesting butter, it's rich and creamy but I probably couldn't tell if I didn't know it's sea urchin. 

Robin's dessert - Vanilla panna cotta with pain perdu, honey nut crunch strawberry and yoghurt sorbet. I didn't get to try his dessert. Stomach wasn't too well that day so I didn't dare to stuff myself too much. 

I really really enjoyed my dessert! Mango cheesecake, pineapple cream and white meringue, passionfruit gel, tropical pearls. It tasted really good it was also lots of fun! I really liked the pineapple cream and meringue.. the tropical pearls were so much fun. They were like salmon roe with thin membrane outside and when bitten, tropical juice just burst inside the mouth. Lots of fun! Some might ask, where's the cheesecake? 

This round thing is the cheesecake! It's size of a big marble. When it was being served, the waiter said "this glossy ball is edible. Lots of people left them on the plate they probably thought it's plastic". It's so glossy that it really looked like plastic. Very cute. 

Just as well we didn't do the degustation, otherwise I wouldn't be able to have this dessert :) 

Bathers' Pavilion
4 The Esplanade
Balmoral Beach 2088
Tel: 02 99695050

Friday, March 9, 2012

momofuku seiōbo

I've read about momofuku quite a while ago. Been wanting to go since then and finally got my "excuse" to make a booking. My 2nd wedding anniversay :) Told Robin I'd take him to a restaurant that he's never been and kept it a surprise till we're there. Good to have nice sister in law who didn't mind babysitting the little guy for us that night. We really enjoyed our night out. 
We got there early that day, so we sat at the bar for a little while. If you like coffee and if you like beer, here's something to try! Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout Japan - $14. I'm neither a coffee drinker nor a big fan of beer, so I didn't even try. Robin didn't really like it though. He said it was weird to combine the 2 drinks together. After a while when our table was ready, we were shown to our seats which were at the counter looking directly into their kitchen. 


First course, Snacks - nori, smoked potato, shiitake chip, mochi (clockwise from the top). This plate were for the both of us. How I wish I could have 2 pieces of everything. The plate did look a bit sparse, I wish they would fill it up. All of them would make great tv snacks :) Here are the zoomed in photos. 



Now, the main momofuku attraction for me. Steamed bun - pork belly, cucumber, boisin sauce. Sorry about the picture. It did not do the bun justice. I just couldn't wait to bite into it. The bun was so soft and fluffy. The pork was oh so tender. Together with the crunchy cucumber that added some bite to it and the sweet hoisin sauce, it was like the best bun ever!! All looked like very common ingredients, but together there was some magic that made it so incredible. I saw how they store the bun in a container in the kitchen, very very tempted to ask the chef to put a few in a doggy bag for me to bring home :p


Here's the Sea mullet with blood orange. Again, the chef had worked wonders here. I don't really know my fish market, but Robin said sea mullet is a very cheap fish. The chef had made it so amazing with the creativity to serve it with blood orange. 


Marron with fennel and dill. Very fresh marron nicely cooked. See the black blob of stuff at the back? Absolutely no idea what that blob of black stuff was but it was AWESOME. Didn't look very nice, but that was the BEST part on the plate. 


A very pretty looking dish of Beef with radish and fermented black bean. Can't see much of the beef here because it was covered under the vibrant slices of radish. I quite like this dish but Robin thought the combination didn't quite make sense. 


This was the Smoked eel with jerusalem artichoke and pink grapefruit. Again, combination of seafood with citrus. This was served with a bowl of eel broth. The intense flavour of the broth just made us wanted more. It didn't have a tiny bit of the seafood fishy taste in it. 


Mud crab with yorkshire pudding. Hmm.. babybrain strikes again! Can't remember much about the taste of this dish anymore. Only remember seeing the yorkshire puddings being made in the kitchen and wondering when would I get served these cute looking thingy. 


Egg with toasted rice and brown butter. Wobble wobble wobble~~~ Perfectly wobbly egg!! How awesome was that. Such simple ingredients yet such highly satisfying flavour. I was amazed how well the fragrant of the toasted rice go with the egg and butter. 


Pea agnolotti with parmesan and ham. I remember that white foam thingy. Again, funny looking component and absolutely no idea what it was. Creamy with a bit of spiciness in it. Very interesting foam. 


Mulloway with smoked roe and lettuce. Robin started eating his while I was still busy taking photos. He gave me a nudge n said "you better eat this now". Presentation wise it was rather ordinary, but the fish... so fresh so crispy. Even the lettuce was good. Nicely charred. For some reason the best part of all these dishes are those unknown components on the plate. There was some crispy crunchy stuff sprinkled all over the plate. I reckon those were the icing on the cake. Made the dish a whole level higher. 


Lamb neck with onions and mustard seeds. Lamb was nicely cooked. Very tender and juicy. Love those onions. They were actually very sweet. Great combination with the mustard for the lamb. 


This was a bit of a funny 1 for me. Pecorino with honey licorice and bee pollen. Never thought of eating cheese with honey. That's essentially what it was. I'm not sure to consider this a sweet or savoury. 


Now here's a funny looking dessert. Wattle seed, malt, crispy milk. No idea how they made the crispy milk skin, but it was so crispy it's like eating milk flavoured chips. 


Miso, cherries and black sesame. The only way I like my cherries is fresh. Not candied not poached, not anything. So I was a bit cautious about this. I tasted each component on its own and thought I didn't like it. So I decided to just gobble everything together and finish it since it's just tiny. Much to my surprise, everything suddenly just tasted so much better TOGETHER! Each component was vital. They just had to be there to complement each other to create this unique taste. It just wouldn't work without any of it. 


If I hadn't read about this restaurant before, I wouldn't be expecting this to end the meal - Pork Shoulder. While typically this would be a savoury dish, here, it was given the task of a dessert. Definitely sweet enough to qualify as a dessert, but not rich and heavy like a chocolate mud cake sort of thing. Kind of fun and messy though because no cutlery was given. EVERYONE had to use their hand for this haha.. What an experience :) 


Conclusion, very very very satisfied with this dinner. While the plating of the dishes wasn't as impressive as some other restaurants, it's definitely not a problem here because as soon as one tasted the dish, nobody would care how it looked like. Could also see that the chef got some very clever ideas with the dishes. 


Side note: Adriano Zumbo's dessert train was located right opposite and conveniently opens till 11pm. So what happened? I got myself 2 macarons from Zumbo haha.. Red was coke, green was mojito. Sorry about blurry photo again. I couldn't wait to bite into the macarons :p 


momofuku seiōbo
The Star
80 pyrmont street, level g ,
sydney, nsw 2009


PS. Reservations are to be made on their website and only 10 days in advance. Can't remember where I read about this, but I know new day is added at 10am each morning. So to make sure you get the day that you want, make sure you are in front of the computer 10 days prior and start hitting the refresh button from 9:59am (which was what I did). The seats do go out FAST.