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District Dining, Surry Hills

15 Oct

Highlight – Abundance of items on the menu

Lowlight – Odd welcome from staff

Seared scallops, Jerusalem artichoke, crispy pancetta, prune

Seared scallops, Jerusalem artichoke, crispy pancetta, prune

Crispy courgette flower, Jannie goats curd, pinenuts, honey

Crispy courgette flower, Jannie goats curd, pinenuts, honey

Crispy quails eggs, tarragon mayonnaise

Crispy quails eggs, tarragon mayonnaise

Crispy pigs ears, Szechuan salt

Crispy pigs ears, Szechuan salt

FOOD?

Altogether we shared eight dishes between four people. Favourites would be the crunchy-outside-soft-inside texture of the zucchini flowers arranged on a generous amount of goats curd with pinenuts and honey. Scallops were cooked perfectly and were of a decent size. The cartilage-esque crispy pig ears were the talk of the night, can’t say that I loved them but didn’t mind eating them as they were seasoned well with Szechuan salt.

After six dishes we were still keen for more so decided on the roasted spatchcock and lamb rump to fill us up. The colourful succotash was both pleasing to the eye and tastebuds and went well with the juicy spatchcock. Our lamb rump was tender although I did not taste the mint flavour in the gravy.

Dishes are presented rustically on wooden chopping boards and were all visually appealing. We were definitely spoilt for choice with the menu and there are many more items that I’d like to try on my next visit.

Roasted spatchcock, sweetcorn, succotash, bacon

Roasted spatchcock, sweetcorn, succotash, bacon

Lamb rump, caponata, crispy polenta, mint gravy

Lamb rump, caponata, crispy polenta, mint gravy

AMBIENCE?

We had a lovely night at District Dining with awesome company, food and wine. The venue is large and the tables are constantly filled with patrons. Everyone is engrossed in loud conversation probably due to the relaxed dining atmosphere.

STAFF?

We arrived at the restaurant on time for our booking and were informed our wait would be around 10-15 minutes. This was fine except that we were told to wait in this random pub around the corner, that was completely separate from District Dining. Worse yet, it was pouring with rain. The weirdest thing was that no one else was told to wait there, just us! So we just sat on some bar stools for a few minutes and then decided it was too strange and headed back up through the rain to the restaurant.

Besides that, once seated we were greeted by a charming waiter who was helpful in terms of ordering and also happy to have small chats with us during the night.

VALUE?

Food and service were of a high standard so we were happy with the prices. However it did all add up a bit after the eight dishes plus wine.

BOOKINGS?

Yes bookings are accepted here but book early to avoid disappointment as this place is quite the popular one!

9

out of 10!

District Dining
17 Randle Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
02 9211 7798

District Dining on Urbanspoon

Mad Cow, Sydney

6 Oct

Highlight – The juicy steak

Lowlight – On the pricey side

Oysters & pearls – rock oysters from today’s market, shucked to order, bacon Worcestershire jelly, chives

Oysters & pearls – rock oysters from today’s market, shucked to order, bacon Worcestershire jelly, chives

Minute steak of black angus fillet, 200g with Café de Paris butter

Minute steak of black angus fillet, 200g with Café de Paris butter

Vanilla panna cotta, rhubarb granita, rhubarb, hazelnut biscotti

Vanilla panna cotta, rhubarb granita, rhubarb, hazelnut biscotti

FOOD?

We ordered from the 2 course lunch menu giving us three to four options per course. Instead of ordering the same courses each we shared both the entree and dessert. Mad Cow is popular for its red meats, hence the restaurant name, so even though I am not much of a steak eater I went with the 200 gram minute steak. I requested medium rare and my steak was delivered a bit more rare than I was expecting. I didn’t mind this but towards the end I had to avoid the rarer centre parts of the steak. Having said this, it was tender, seasoned well and the Paris butter was plentiful. Lucky our dishes came with sides of salad and chips as it probably wouldn’t have been enough to fill us up.

The oysters decorated with a jelly slice were pleasant yet unmemorable, I’ve had better. In terms of the dessert, the panna cotta was a decent size and the rhubarb granita was refreshing for the taste buds. This treat would be perfect on a Summer’s day.

SERVICE?

Staff were friendly and worked well in a busy work lunch environment. We were in a bit of a rush that day and were appreciative that the staff made sure our meals were delivered in a timely manner.

AMBIENCE?

Cute décor with a fresh look and feel about the place. There were lots of suits on group lunches present.

VALUE?

The Holy Cow ‘2 course and a glass of wine for $40’ deal is available from Monday to Friday. Not bad if you’re able to take a slightly longer lunch to enjoy your meal. Otherwise it is quite pricey considering the portion sizes.

BOOKINGS?

If you’re going in a group it’s best to make a booking as the venue is not very large. I saw a few walk-ins for tables of two so you could probably take that path if you happen to be in the area.

7

out of 10!

Mad Cow
330 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000
02 9240 3000

Mad Cow on Urbanspoon

Adriano Zumbo Cafe, Rozelle

2 Oct

Highlight – Spoilt for choice

Lowlight – Waiting in the queue

Berry brioche

Berry brioche

The Kitchen (check out the block of butter)

The Kitchen (check out the block of butter)

From top: Pandan, Black Sesame, Licorice & Lime, Satay, Kaffir Lime & Ginger, Strawberries & Cream, Salted Butter Caramel

From top: Pandan, Black Sesame, Licorice & Lime, Satay, Kaffir Lime & Ginger, Strawberries & Cream, Salted Butter Caramel

FOOD?

Upon first entering the cafe at about 10ish on a Friday morning there were only a handful of customers already there. A wide assortment of pastries, savouries, cakes and macarons were available and I took my time to make a careful decision for my breakfast snack.

I finally decided on the berry brioche; a combination of berries, custard and almond flakes topped with icing sugar, it was the perfect choice. The brioche was puffy and light and the taste was not too sweet. I could eat another one right now!

By the time I finished my brioche the queue was curling around towards the door. Silly me, I should have bought the macarons at the same time as my brioche. To the end of the queue for me! My favourites macarons would be the subtle flavoured pandan and the kaffir lime and ginger. No one was keen to try the satay macaron so I gave it a go, it was reminiscent of peanut satay sauce and surprisingly tasty.

SERVICE?

Staff are friendly and patient with customers whilst they wait for them to make their well thought-out selections.

AMBIENCE?

The cafe is situated on the corner of a quiet street just shy of a couple of main roads. There are only a few bar stools available, some along the wall and the rest facing the kitchen area. Due to the popularity of Adriano Zumbo from MasterChef, customers are willing to wait in long queues and are mainly there for takeaway of goodies to indulge in later.

VALUE?

Reasonably priced for delicious treats for your tummy. Macarons are overpriced everywhere, I think it’s time to attempt to bake them myself…

BOOKINGS?

First in best dressed policy applies here. So get in early to avoid long queues, especially on weekends!

9

out of 10!

Adriano Zumbo Cafe, The Lab
114 Terry Street, Rozelle NSW 2039
02 9810 7318 

 The Lab on Urbanspoon

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