Preoccupied Press

Category: Food

Stella Has A Sweet Tooth

Ice mountains, grey chicken and a possibly poisonous dessert.

See how Stella fares.

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Stella Blu
18 The Strand, Dee Why Beach, Sydney
www.stellablu.com.au
9982 7931

It’s the time of year where we all sigh in delight over the balmy summer nights. Our recent visit to Stella Blu was one of those; the sun stayed up past its bedtime, the beach across from the restaurant was packed and a saxophone player covered chilled renditions of the top 40.

We ordered a remarkably generous antipasti platter (33), worth its price especially for the hot frittata and zucchini flowers. There was such an abundant array of choice piled on this platter it would be pointless detailing every single one. As for the beverages, the ‘Frosty Fruit’ is a favourite of mine, the Caprioska’s are also very good and come with a mountain of shaved ice (ooh la la).

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Unfortunately, the Spatchcock I ordered (28.5) did not live up to the flavours suggested in the menu. The meat was also a little tough… and looked a little grey. Don’t give up on Stella Blu though, go for the 6hr slow roasted lamb, now that dish is to die for!

Veal scaloppini (29.9) hit the spot with a little more kick. The green beans were perfect with the dish and it was a hearty, flavoursome choice (proscuitto is always a winner with me though).

We did not order dessert this time around (I know, sacrilege). But, after trialling the flourless chocolate cake with fudge and pistachio praline (13.9) for poison on too many occasions, I can recommend it highly!

Overall my tips for Stella Blu are:

– Request a seat outdoors in the summer

– Order the antipasti platter!

– Try at least one cocktail

– Make sure you don’t skip out on dessert.

Many diners decide to stroll to the ice cream bar down the road. It’s an option and cute for a date… but the flourless chocolate cake is seriously good. I trust your judgement.

Stella Blu is a great restaurant for both winter and summer seasons, suitable for romantic or group nights. Dare I say that a well-made cocktail always goes down nicely, regardless of the weather?

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More Bacon, Honey?

The little cafe Revolver serves up a decadent big brekkie

 
Revolver Big Breakfast
 
Revolver
291 Annandale Street, Annandale
Sydney
http://revolver.com.au

Type “Sydney’s best breakfast spots” into Google and you have a whole lot to choose from.

We were staying on York Street and in need of a good coffee, discovering that Surrey Hills was most likely our best bet. But then, a photo of the big breakfast at Revolver caught our eye. Catching a cab to Annandale, we found that Revolver is settled on the corner of a highly residential area. The exterior is colonial and the interior is a warm, vintage themed room with gorgeous crockery and nik- naks.

Our tea came with a miniature hourglass to time the brew and the breakfast was bundled into a cast iron pan. At 16.50, the breakfast is well worth the portion and the travel, the coffee is lovely too.

Tea at Revolver

Notably, the bacon is cured with honey, giving the whole dish a hint of sweet and smokey that harmonize something special. The toast came with homemade relish that is tart, herby and not what you expect.

The owner (presumably) went above and beyond to ensure we had a table and even ordered us a cab for the trip home.

I highly recommend Revolver, at a 9.5/10.

(0.5 is due to the sausage being mediocre and the location, but nothing to really sneer at)

Little Blue House

The french fusion restaurant gets a mixed review

La Grillade crows nest

La Grillade

118 Alexander Street  Crows Nest NSW 2065
(02) 9439 3707
lagrillade.com.au

Firstly, I do not have photos because I was absolutely consumed in the meal, and sometimes I’m not in the mood to look like a tourist.

La Grillade in Crows Nest was new to me. Most people I spoke to about it said something along the lines of

“Oh, that place has been around/good for years!… they’re under new management now though so…”

So. I don’t know what it was like before, but what I ordered was something incredible.

Hold up for a second though, I’m not a 10/10 crazy lady who likes any food put in front of her. There were a few little points worth mentioning that weren’t splendiferous.

The gorgeous little building itself resembles a house with a blue front. They have a sweet garden area out the back (unfortunately it was raining when we visited, so we opted for indoors).

The staff were lovely, but disorganised; we had to ask to see the menus and for the bill between gaps of uneasy confusion. Our runners seemed flustered, and although very friendly they were not on top of everything. However, not a night-ruiner by a long shot.

Bread came out for free (win) and we were given samples of cauliflower soup with brioche crumble to try (double win) which was amazing- I’d order it next time. We had the herb stuffed calamari with risotto and pork crackling (19.50) for a shared entree. It tasted lovely, however it was minuscule and by no means worth its price. Two tiny pieces of calamari and a shard of crispy fat, (with the risotto we had two mouthfuls each). Don’t get me wrong, very well executed and a flavour sensation with the herb mix, but ridiculously priced and definitely not one to share.

Michael ordered the 7+ Wagyu flat iron with frites and cafe de paris butter (37.5) which was very nice, yet quite heavy and limited in flavour variety. The dish lacked some crispy greens or some vegetables. Even so, a fairly classic french dish which was done well, but without the expected contemporary flair of La Grillade’s fusion cuisine.

I had the rolled lamb breast (34.00) and I’m almost lost for words. Get it.

The pureed jerusalem artichokes, dauphinoise and sauce were absolutely perfect. It was a rich meal (like most french dishes) but the lamb itself fell apart and you are constantly attempting to mash as many of the flavours onto your fork as possible.

My advice for both dishes would be to order a side salad, to break up the richness.

Speaking of richness, how chocolatey can a chocolate torte get? La Grillade nailed it (17.00). One of the best chocolate tortes I have ever tried, accompanied by completely uneccessary (and untouched) double cream and a small scoop of cherry sorbet. This dish is big enough and rich enough to share, which is rare advice coming from me; the crazed chocoholic who awaits dessert at every outing.

All in all, a very enjoyable night. I think your experience will largely depend on your ordering so choose wisely! And accompany the meal with some french champagne.

Bon Apetite!

La Grillade gets a 7/10

How Much is that Pasta in the Window?

With a line and a waiting list 30 people deep, is Jamie’s worth the wait?

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Jamie’s Italian Kitchen

107 Pitt Street  Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: 8240 9000
Web: www.jamieoliver.com/au/italian/
 

“It’ll be about a two and a half hour wait guys.” A young girl balanced a wooden plank of prosciutto, olives and bread, shuffling from person to person. The line of people outside Jamie’s Italian Kitchen was unbelievable at 5.30 in the afternoon and although it moved seemingly quick, the wait for a table grew longer.

It’s the one with the boxes of handmade pasta in the window, where the shopfront is almost missable, but extends vertically to seat 200 people. It’s easier to find if you scan Pitt street for a queue enjoying olives on the house.  I’m glad we waited. As it turns out, the caprioska’s were decent and you can order most entrees to the bar while you wait. Plus, some people must have given up so we only waited 45 mins.

Here’s the verdict:

BREAD (free)- A little gift from Mr. Oliver himself, a basket of herbed bread with European style olive oil and balsamic. If it were up to me, all restaurants would offer this for free. It’s just polite. Cudos.

ITALIAN NACHOS ($7.00)- A small portion of fried ravioli parcels filled with cheese.  The dip is the important bit: a little heat but a fairly basic, flavorsome, tomato base.

CRISPY SQUID ($12.00)- Beautiful and crispy; tossed with chilli. Also a small portion, but at the price of the entrees it’s worth trying more than one. Maybe I’m being selfish and just wanted the squid to myself (likely).

BUCATINI CARBONARA ($14.00/$23.00) – I got the tagliatelle pasta and it was sensational. Very creamy and on the salty side, which is to be expected. The pancetta makes this dish incredible, but being on the heavy side, I’d order an entree size next time.

TAGLIATELLE BOLOGNESE ($12.50/$19.00)- The winner of the night. Made traditionally with beef & pork, the flavours are unbelievable. What makes this dish so special is the crunchy, herbed breadcrumbs that hide within the pile of saucy pasta. They change- up the texture and keep the meal interesting.  Image

The most noteworthy of notes regarding Jamie’s Italian has to be the well-trained, freindly staff. Despite being a full house (with a line 2.5 hours long outside) they were awesome. I’m not a suck up I swear.

Basically it’s worth the wait. The prices are amazing for the quality, so I suggest tasting as many dishes as you can muster.

Goodluck!

Jamie gets a 9/10

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