Showing posts from June, 2016

Babyface Kitchen Wollongong NSW

Burnsbury Hospitality, with its themes on catering and dining functions, has recently opened something transformative for dining in the Wollongong city area.  They already operate 2 Smoking Barrelswith craft beer at 9 Crown Street  - the Illawarra Brewery - and Son of a Gun food in conjunction with Mel Cox at Sifters Espresso.  The crafted beer theme continues in the Babyface Kitchen, but with a tilt towards fine Euro wine lists, fish and a strong emphasis on fusion creations with a Japanese flair.

The crispy skin Hiramashi King Fish is also done by Babyface in Miso broth  with herbs for a mains, instead of raw slices as in the entree.  Perhaps this selection of fish echoes the Babyface Kitchen's attitude, philosophy and adventure in preparing its fare for its customers.   My fellow luncher and I loved the paper thin raw slices we chose as starters and they came out precise, delicate and flavourful with every little bite.

Meats are sourced from a Sydney based supplier, Vic's Mea…

HarbourFront Level One Wollongong Harbour NSW

Harbour Front Level One is located at street level at 2 Endeavour Drive  in the same building that overlooks the marina at Wollongong Harbour, NSW.   It is fully licensed.
Opening hours are for lunch every day and from Wednesdays to Sundays for dinner.
Contact + 61 2 4227 2999

My impressions of Harbour Front Level One in Wollongong NSW:
Ambiance: 3.5 out of 5
Customer Engagement:  4 out of 5
Culinary Delight: 4 out of 5
X Factor:  3 out of 5
Overall:   14.5 /4 out of 5

Recommended Menu Choices:
Tortellini with fillings of both Ricotta and mushrooms, heaped under peas, mushrooms, a Taleggio crream sauce.
Smoked salmon Bruschetta.
Pan seared Atlantic Scallops with a cauliflower puree, Chorizo sausage cuts, Asparagus and pea Salsa.
Zucchini flowers filled with a roasted Capsicum and Ricotta filling and graced by sweet and sour peppers.
Peanut Butter Parfait, graced by a chocolate cookie, a spiced Rum and Chocolate Ganache and a Peanut Brittle.

The Cuban Place Sydney CBD NSW

Black beans are an integral part of Cuban cooking and cuisine, together with bay leaves, garlic, rice and red kidney beans.   The classic and pervasive presence of black beans and rice  had resulted in a traditional dish called "Moors and Christians".    Sofrito, a heady seasoning mix of green pepper, Oregano, ground pepper and onions, results from quick frying.  

This had led to my prior silo perspective about Cuban food, the preoccupation with sauteing as a cooking technique, plus the imagery of the tropical climate, sugar cane plantations and laid back non-chalance, especially before the USA removed long time embargoes on the sizeable island nation in the Caribbean.

I had missed the point.     Being located at the cross roads of African slave routes, Spanish adventurers, indigenous Taino tribes,  French Caribbean and Portuguese trading routes, and Arabic ingredients, Cuba had years of experimenting with fusion, diverse cultural vibes and ingredients.   I am reminded that ma…

Smart Apps, New Addictions

I currently spend most of my App time on the smart phone with the same few things. Diary schedule, Safari, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram. 
It is reported that 80 pc of users' mobile time is spent on just three Apps - Facebook, WhatsApp and Chrome. Hmmn, what about WeChat?
A hundred million Uber sourced rides were chalked up in 2014 alone. Not only is the conventional taxicab sector threatened, but the concentration of the younger generation in crowded city centres also points to lowering vehicle ownership rates. Why buy the cow when you milk it only when you occasionally need it?
Usage of internet around the world has surprisingly flattened, with annual growth rates at nine per cent. Is there more hope and promise of growth in non-OECD nations where however the penetration of networks remains low and the cost to access the digital space remains high?
High potential is now focused on portable equipment, where you can virtually manage your digital and real world without going home …

Property Rush, Locals Cannot Afford

The march of foreign cash has significantly affected the parameters and dynamics of property pricing and accessibility for many locals particularly in Western countries, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Not often mentioned in media discussion is what these markets and their governments are doing or not doing to resolve this situation.

Noveau rich or ambitious individuals with excess to plenty of cash would need to invest, spend or transform their cash holdings into other forms of assets. What their funds can buy with properties back in their country of origin may not compare with the quality of houses, farms and resorts they find in other nations with higher standards of governance, environment and health measures. So these people get into countries with open markets, economies, mindsets and sense of fair play.

What the Joes and Janes in countries receiving these outsiders may not fully appreciate is that foreigners may not have the same standards in political correctness, cultural norms and …

West Juliett Marrickville NSW

Olive oil used to scramble eggs.   Well trained staff, with a good demeanour, approaching and chatting with customers.   Sited on a not so noisy corner of an otherwise busy suburb. 
Everyone gets a boisterous hello on entering through a sort of automated closing door for an entrance.   A semi-industrail interior with no frills, but more than balanced with the warmth inside and of the staff.     Bar drinks are labelled "Medicine". 

I say do check this out for the wonderful difference in food and experience.     It is not just another modern Australian brunch, lunch and breakfast place  - it shows delightful touches of Greek, fusion and creativity.   Efficient delivery after you order.   You can sit by the windows and watch a certain corner of Marrickville go by.   If you choose outdoor pavement tables, you realise that the area is rather residential, which some firmly say is more Enmore than Marrick's.

The  cookies were what I was tipped to try or take home.  I would describ…

Coffee Tea & Me Cafe Marrickville NSW

It was just on the cusp of dawn.  

This cafe was already brewing the coffee and early risers were inside.  Neighbouring shops were still shut and Wicks Park was just across the nearby junction. 

The Campos blend was done justice by the barista - strong, flavourful and with body.    What attracted me to go inside initially was the wide choice of bagel breakfasts.   I could have just gave this place a walk past miss but I was curious about their more than several ways with bagels.  The spectrum included Hummus, Tofu, salmon, cottage cheese, Salami, roast beef and seasoned chicken.

I settled for a morning combo of a cuppa with a bagel and my choice was under ten dollars, 
Trying to avoid bacon, I finally opted for this ingredient with scrambled eggs and cheese when the version with greens was not available that day.

In this competitive and discerning market,  I noticed that the bagels were not what I expected and something was missing in the overall bite.  I am not sure what it was, were they…

Opah Restaurant Cronulla NSW

At the Opah Restaurant, the two of us did find the sole wait staff - a young lady who went about her work tirelessly but with a smile - a most important part of the Opah visit.    She knew how to nicely time the arrival of dishes - and yes Greek food has many  - took the trouble to explain some finer points of what came out to the table and ensured that guests felt relaxed.  If people care and interaction is an integral part of traditional Greek customs and life, we knew where this source of a welcoming atmosphere comes from.

We selected the express lunch, which had variety and good portions of flat breads, Houlami, lamb, salads and Tzatziki sauce for grilled meats.   To me that was a terrific combo, not too excessive and providing a spectrum of what a typical Greek meal entails.

The Coronas are there like in Mexico, but mind you, Cronulla is one of Sydney's and Australia's premier beach locations, which already have a fun loving disposition towards beer and the laid back life. …