Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Lorraine's Patisserie, CBD

Bravo, Justin Hemmes. He has yet again snatched another culinary big name in cake and pastry queen; Lorraine Godsmark, particularly famous for her date tart that is still on the Rockpool menu up to this date since 1984. She's now the headline in Paling's Kitchen and Bar although she seems to spend most of her time at her eponymous Lorraine's Patisserie.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Yume Sushi, Gladesville

A kind thank you to Angela Yalda from AYPR for inviting us to Yume Sushi. It'll be L taking over as a guest poster in this post. 

Courtesy of mr.C, I was invited along to a tasting of Yume Sushi because what can I say, me + sushi = glorious fistpumping and content tummy.

The quirky decor - we were luckily early enough to take a full shot without looking too strange.
Upon walking into the store, the decor definitely captures my attention. I love all things eclectic, and the furniture just screams Quirky (yes, with a capital Q mind you!). The tables remind me of primary school with the splash of colour and paint - the only thing missing would be all those fingerprints from finger painting.  According to the owner of Yume Sushi who came by to chat with us during our meal, the furniture was actually designed in Australia, made in Korea and flown over.

More fun furniture - adds so much personality
For those who have ever found themselves complaining about their chair whilst dining out, well, here you have quite a selection to choose from. Would you like the spacious wooden chairs, the contoured plastic chair, the metal bench or a plastic stool? Heck, there's even baby chairs - that's how accommodating they are with choice of furniture! So go on, be adventurous and ask for that baby chair!

Organic crockery
Enough with my decor ramblings, now onto the food. Food, glorious food, they say! First came out the customary miso soup and soy sauce, in awesome crockery (from New Zealand and made organically). The miso soup was warming and delightful. I mean, come on, it's miso soup! We also ordered a sushi and sashimi platter as well as the brown rice lobster rolls to start us off. However, as you can probably tell, the space did get a tad cramped. So just a fair warning: if you plan on pigging out (even if it's just for two) ask for a bigger table (or relocate as we did, courtesy of the hospitable staff).

Sushi and sashimi platter 
Our platter had quite a variety of sushi and sashimi. And it was amazing. The presentation was lovely, however, it was the food that stole the glory. The sashimi consisted of kingfish, tuna, salmon, scallops and scampi.  Omnomnom. Moving onto the sushi, there was 3 baby rolls with cucumber, an assortment of nigiri (grilled eel, grilled salmon, prawn, tuna, kingfish and what I call tofu nigiri but is really called inarizushi. 

Sashimi omnomnom
The sashimi was super fresh, which is probably the most important thing. The slices were nicely portioned, which resulted in ease of gobbling up. If you don't believe me, ask mr. C who unknowingly gobbled up both slices of the kingfish sashimi without realising. *shakes my head* The tuna was honestly really good. I'm not the biggest fan of tuna sashimi (because salmon sashimi has me in the palm of its hand) but I really liked it here. The salmon was fresh and cut with precision and care. The scallops were very sweet and yummy, though I still prefer cooked scallops. The scampi was quite interesting because I've never had scampi raw, yet it has that distinctive sweetness but with a slimier texture than its cooked counterpart. It's something you should definitely try because I ended up really liking it.

Platter Combo 32.9
The grilled eel was delicious, with a lovely charred taste to it which complemented the sweetness of the marinade. The grilled salmon was also lovely. What I loved about the nigiri at Yume, was that it revealed the efforts of the chef. The cuts of the sashimi were so precise that it simply encompasses the rice. Not to mention, the handfuls of rice were moulded with such consistency. I was super impressed. I finally got to try the kingfish nigiri and that was simply amazing. I honestly, without any reservations, loved this platter. I could literally have had it all myself (though in retrospect, I probably did have most of it since the chef came out at this opportune moment and I stealthily nibbled while mr. C chattered away).

Little Lobster Rolls 18.9
The brown rice inside out lobster rolls was quite anticipated because it's somewhat a speciality of Yume.  From what I know, there aren't many, if any, other sushi restaurants that use brown rice. However, after trying the brown rice inside out lobster rolls, I can somewhat see why other restaurants steer clear of it. The texture of brown rice is a bit harder than white rice and to those unfamiliar with brown rice (like myself) it would take a while to get used to.  However, it's good to note that brown rice is healthier than white rice, not to mention that it would be more labor-intensive (for the chefs, not us diners of course).

Wagyu Beef Teriyaki w noodles16.9
The next dish we had was the wagyu beef terriyaki noodles, which was underwhelming. The wagyu beef was dry, the noodles tough with the sauce slightly too sweet for my taste. I did like the bonita with the noodles though.

Wagyu Beef Teriyaki 14.9
The last dish we had was the wagyu beef misoyaki, and it was a perfect example of a wagyu dish well done - especially since we had it right after the wagyu beef teriyaki noodles. It arrived on a hot plate with a sprinkling of vegies (broccoli!). The meat was tender, melt-in-your-mouth-fatty and just so good but they should probably ask for doneness preference in the future. Despite being quite full by this point, my chopsticks kept reaching out for more meat (such a glutton) and broccoli.

Chef Daniel Byung
Daniel Byung, who is the executive chef of the three Yume Sushi restaurants, popped by for a chat as we were eating. We talked about his experience - 25 years - and the labour that goes into each of the tiny pieces of sushi we so easily gobble up. Whilst he was soft-spoken and humble, the more we spoke, it was evident that he was truly passionate about his craft and was hard working. Starting his day at 6am, to venture out to the fish markets and select the fresh fish for his three restaurants, and finishing up at a mere 12am. That said, his attention to detail definitely scores well with me and at Yume, I believe it's the little things that count. Geddit, sushi, little things... yeah...

For those who are lucky enough to live close by, there are takeaway options as well. For those who are a trek away, I'd opt for the North Strathfield or Drummoyne stores. Considering Daniel owns and selects the fish for all three stores, I'm sure the freshness of the sushi and sashimi platter would impress.

Yume Sushi on Urbanspoon

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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Canelé Pâtisserie Chocolaterie, Paragon, Singapore

Canelé patisserie is a little cafe branch (with 4 other locations throughout Singapore) that specialises in sweets and brunch. We happened to be there for the sole purpose purchasing stuff to eat on the plane later the next day and the allure of the yellow Canelé sign and macarons brought us in.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Butterfly Farm KL, Kuala Lumpur

Whilst at Malaysia, a tour guide recommended the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly farm. It's a very humid rainforestesque sort of area in which more than 6000 butterflies from 120 species inhabit.

Friday, 15 February 2013

A guide to Singapore

Ni Hao from Singapore (or hello given that the national language is English or namaste given that 9 percent of the population are Indians). Singapore's a great opportunity to brush up on your mandarin (me for example) but inhabitants will pick up on your foreign nature near immediately if you aren't so good (also me for example).

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Nahm, Bangkok- Thailand

Australian David Thompson is easily one of the most iconic non-Thai Thai food restaurateur internationally. Books published. 2. Restaurants owned. 3. Lives influenced. Infinity. It's not everyday that I find myself in Bangkok so I might as well give one of his aforementioned restaurants: Nahm, a try. 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Jumbo Seafood, Riversie - Singapore

When I touched down on Singapore's shores, I only had one thing in mind. Sure shopping's nice (not) and the gardens are really spectacular, the Chinese food is cheap and delicious but if there's a national dish of Singapore, it would be their Singapore Chilli Crab. I've had dreams about their crab and I've never even eaten it before. Pictures were also taken with my Ipod, forgive me, guess I was just under the impression that my camera had infinite battery.

Gardens by the Bay, Bay South - Singapore

I know this is a food blog but I can't not share one of the most remarkable places I visited in Singapore. Besides the Botanical Gardens west of the city, Singapore was pretty much a concrete jungle. That was until the end of 2011 until the middle of last year where construction finish on a new park called Gardens by the Bay. It boasts three main areas all with a horticultural garden focus. It has since become a national icon and hopes to inspire a theme of conservation on its citizens and the greater public.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Jaan, Singapore

Jaan in Singapore comes highly recommended by many international reviewers. With the arrival of chef Andre Chiang, it's direction really started to head off in the way of sourcing rare produce and gained international attention along the way, climaxing at no.39 in the World best 50 in 2010. With the departure of Chiang, french chef Julien Royen has very much continued this direction. Royen is the main attraction here and the restaurant makes no secret of it, exposing his so called 'artisal' cooking style in every opportunity.

As you enter the Swissotel complex, you pass through 2 checkpoints before you enter the restaurant itself. Located 70 floors up, 741 feet up, the view is absolutely breathtaking to say the least. Really gives new meaning to high-class doesn't it. Sorry that was lame. What isn't is the adjacent buildings quivering against its height as you see the Singaporean skyline along with Marina Bay with its distinguished Sands hotel and garden amongst many other things. Windows of the room are large and the room itself is elegantly understated save for the elaborate ceiling so as to avoid detracting from the view.

A bread selection from truffle brioche to traditional sourdough gives us an interesting variety. I obviously opt for the truffle brioche in an attempt to get the most value and its generously laced with visible truffle strands and the flavour itself is potent.

You've got to love freebies as they continue to bring a whole set of canapes along to enjoy. We begin with the smoked eel enhanced by the apple jelly and cut right through with tart limes (back) and then move on to chicken skin pressed flat and spiced (middle) and then onto the delicious cheese croquettes (front).

'My Hummus' with crisps
Royen's hummus is deliciously chunky packing loads of Puy lentil flavour sourced from a little French village called Saint Flour. Almost transparent thin crisps with a variety of seeds accompany it and you're invited to spread them on.

A little soup start us off which begins as a airy sabayon (egg emulsion) laced with cepe  
mushroom and topped with buckwheat puffs lifted here with an almost too generous amount of seasoning. 

Hot mushroom consomme then poured from a coffee press in front of us and the mixture rises up.

Their signature comes with a bit of theatre involved. It comes in 2 parts: the dish simply of slightly salty iberico, mushrooms and its puree and a crunchy buckwheat puffs as well as the egg itself. 

55' Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg
Smoked Rattes, Wild Mushrooms, Chorizo Iberico, Buckwheat
This 55 minute, 64 degree creamy thing of beauty is rosemary smoked and arrives liquid nitrogen rosemary-perfumed in its eggshell for good measure. As if that wasn't even enough, rosemary is smoked underneath the transparent bowl as well. 

Scottish Salmon Tartare
Horseradish, Pickled Kohlrabi, Aquitaine Caviar
Their other entree comes in the form of a salmon tartare with caviar with kohlrabi balls dotted around. A bit different from usual tartares but, as opposed to the previous appetiser, it just seems a little tame at the same time. It was delicately delicious, yes, but it didn't have as much impact.

Line Caught John Dory suppl 15
Romanesco Textures, Crustacean Bisque 
Tiny little romanesco broccoli plays the star attraction here. The joy is not in the taste which has slightly less flavour and milder in taste than its cousins rather than in its looks. The textures come in the from of pan fried, crumbed and pureed. This little fractal beauty is a feast for the eyes if you take the time to notice the cone like shape and comes at the forefront with all its textures. By itself it feels a little bland even, missing a little oomph that's quickly remedied by a saucing of crustacean at the table.

36 Hours Kurobuta Pork
Forgotten Vegetables, Winter Broth
The fat to meat ratio on the pork is nauseatingly tilted towards the fat . It feels like it needed a little something to be fresh and punchy, something bitter or sour to cut through it all which it didn't have. 

Organic Chestnut Ravioli
Jerusalem Artichoke, Black Trumpets
Chestnut has never tasted so good. It's mind blowing how much chestnut flavour they squeezed into the little tortellini and the creamy nutty flavour is further amplified by the earthy trumpets and artichokes.

Choconuts 4th
Sable Breton, Textures of White, Milk and Dark Chocolate
Our first dessert feels like a textures of chocolate refined with additional elements. In digging in you experience a textural delight; you might get a little sherbet going on, maybe one of the 3 assorted Valhorna icecreams on the plate or a little dense brownie mixed with the crumbly sable breton or the crispy chocolate leaves.

Chestnut 'Gormandise'
Speculos, Meringue, Eglantine
We were advised to mix everything up together and eat it so but I couldn't help but be a little curious about how they tasted like individually. Turns out the waiter was right as the glossy eglantine puree, a rose native to europe and asia, was incredibly bitter but mix it all up and its just magical. The mix of textures is sublime but it's its concoction of the boozy kick of yellow rum jelly mixed together with the smooth chestnut icecream wrapped in a cylindrical tuille which offsets the sharp bitterness that makes it a winner.  

Petit fours and coffee finish off our light lunch with the most memorable being the liquid nitrogen rosemary smoked chocolate which seriously works, why have I not discovered this before and the ice block with popping candy which brought me back to my childhood.

What Royen does superbly and makes him special is the ability to squeeze the utmost absolute flavour out of ingredients. What's more astounding is this is achieved with seemingly no gadgetry and maintaining a prevalent theme of earth driven produce with root vegetables making an appearance in nearly every dish. Coming from a generation of farmers, his respect for ingredients is unparallel. 

The food is right up there but its the front floor where it starts falling apart. Mistakenly getting handed a dinner menu during lunch was certainly an awkward start as well as the dirty green thumb stain on the lunch menu and forgetting to sauce my dory dish mid way through. Service exhibits a welcoming tone of relaxation and calmness but can occasionally be quite imposing especially during payment where they'll just idly linger around very close to you. Still, the food more than makes up for it and besides a few missing touches here and there, Jaan rounds out a great Singapore culinary experience.

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No, we aren't the most amazing gastronomes or chefs. Heck, half our team doesn't even know how to cook... well. However, what we really love is eating. And lots of it. We enjoy that occasional freebie, filling up that craving for a midnight snack and finding a 20 in our pockets that we thought we never had, and using that as an excuse to go out eating. As we battle the ongoing war on uni student poverty, we'll bring you the most swoon worthy recounts of our latest foodie adventures.