Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Boon, Darlinghurst

Now that I have finally been persuaded to eat the bunny, I figured it was a fitting time to  blog my entire Boon experience.  Cheesecake Boy and I first visited Boon a couple of anniversaries ago, and have been returning back for more ever since.  A few Tuesday's ago when Cheesecake Boy and I were still on leave, we ducked into Boon Chocolates for an indulgent afternoon tea. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Margan - Broke, Hunter Valley

Margan was highly recommended to us, so as soon as we confirmed our accommodation I booked in this place for dinner straight away, and what a recommendation this was.  However, it was a shaky start, but by no fault of the restaurant at all.  You see Margan is located in Broke and as we were staying in Pokolbin, the drive during the day is only about a twenty minutes, but at night, well it's another story all together.  Also, having a car with low suspension means well you can't take the straight forward route, where you just drive down Broke Road, as Broke Road two-thirds down, becomes awfully bumpy.  

The only way we were guaranteed a smooth ride was to take alternate roads, as we were staying at the Crowne Plaza, this meant that we had to go up Wine Country Drive, turn left at Palmers Lane, right at McDonalds Road, left into Deasys Road, left at Hermitage Road, right at Broke Road where we were spared the bumpy side of Broke Road, but then had to endure a further good 15 kilometres stretch.  We arrived at Broke where we had to turn right at Wollombi Road and then left at Milbrodale Road.  The last hurdle required us to drive across what appeared as a one laned rickerty bridge, and then on our right was Margan.  If you have ever driven in the Hunter Valley at night, you can imagine what a nightmare this was, as it's so dark and there's not much lighting around.  You have to travel quite frequently with the high beam on to get your sense of direction and drive a lot slower, and some of the roads were down right creepy at this time.  It got to a moment, where at one point I regretted making the booking and not checking my directions.

We made it in one piece and when we got there, the lovely waitress informed us that the usual menu was not available, due to the 'A Little Bit of Italy in Broke' festival being held the next day.  Instead, there was a special Italian themed menu.  At this point, I was wondering if our luck could get any worse.  

Margan offers their dinner menu with the following options of 3 courses for $60, 4 courses for $75 and 5 courses for $90 per person.  Dessert here is also considered a course in itself, this was good as I was itching for dessert, as we didn't have any the night prior.  Unfortunately, most of the desserts did not appeal to Cheesecake Boy, so we decided to go for three savoury courses each instead.  On the  other  hand, the wines here are great value for money, a glass of the Margan Semillon was only $5 per glass and $15 for the whole bottle, it's even cheaper than the cellar door prices.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Easter

It's been a busy couple of days and I was meant to have a Boon Chocolates post up in time for the chocolatey Easter break, but exhaustion has kicked in.  Promise post will come soon.

Hope you all have a safe and happy break, and that you are luckily bestowed with lots of yummy Easter chocolate like my adorable bunny.  Unfortunately, it's too cute to eat right now, but the tempting hazelnut praline will make me cave in eventually.

Hazelnut praline bunny, $25

Happy holidays, Dumpling Girl and Cheesecake Boy.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Boat House, Palm Beach

Our time off was coming to an end, and we had been wanting to go to Palm Beach for a while.  The reason we were heading up there were for very different reasons.  Cheesecake Boy thought we were going to walk all the way to the lighthouse and get some exercise, but I had a very different idea in mind.  It was our last Friday off and thankfully it was sunny, so a drive to Palm Beach was given the go ahead.  We had been making excellent progress, until some tree lopping caused a little traffic jam, then it was full speed ahead again.

Traffic jam

When we got to Palm Beach, Cheesecake Boy realised that I was not dressed for a walk.  I was dressed to have lunch with a view, and my intention was to have lunch at The Boat House and Cheesecake Boy relented.  Now, the address of The Boat House was vague, the only clue was that it was in Governor Phillip Park.  I had not consulted the map before we left, as I thought it would be an easy find.  If you see the view below, and start singing to the theme song of 'Home and Away' as Cheesecake Boy and I did hand in hand, then you are going the wrong way and need to turn back.  After turning back, there was another man whistling the 'Home and Away' theme song, it's definitely one of the more catchy theme songs around.

The Home and Away view, nice for a walk and sun bathing, but wrong way if you want to eat at The Boat House

We headed back up to where there was an engraved stone sign that was labelled 'Governor Phillip Park'.  There should be a road between 'Governor Phillip Park' sign and the golf course.  If the view is the same as below, and the golf course is on your left, then you are heading in the correct direction.  You will need to walk all the way up, until you reach the end of the golf course.

Path along the golf course...

Now, patience should reward you with an adorable 'The Boat House' sign.  Otherwise, you could do the smarter thing and drive up until you find this place.  By the time we found this place, we were starving.

we made it to The Boat House.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bourke Street Bakery, Marrickville

I'm going to give the Hunter Valley posts a break for a bit and come back to some Sydney posts.  It was a miserable day yesterday, best for sleeping and eating comfort food at home.  However, sausage roll cravings were in the air and where better to get our fix, but at Bourke Street Bakery.  There are now quite a few stores of Bourke Street Bakery around, so it was not hard to pick their Marrickville store, somewhere we could sit and watch the rain pitter patter away, while we were eating.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rock Restaurant - Pokolbin, Hunter Valley

When it comes to organising a holiday, I use to be the girl that would plan everything part of the holiday to what we did and what we ate, and it was even scheduled on an hour to hour basis.  However, after one of our Melbourne holidays, Cheesecake Boy got rather overwhelmed. So, I have learnt to relax a bit and try to be spontaneous, but spontaneity always backfires on me and then Cheesecake Boy wishes that I was my organised self again.  With our Hunter Valley getaway, I was pretty relaxed  this time and only booked in two dinners and one lunch.  Rock Restaurant was one of the dinners.

During the day Rock Restaurant is actually Firestick Cafe.  We had lunch at Firestick Cafe last time we came to the Hunter Valley, but I was not impressed.  So, I thought I would give Rock Restaurant a try this time, as some people I know have raved about it, and it's the only two hatted restaurant in the Hunter Valley.  Unfortunately, my camera and dim lighting do not seem to like each other, so it was the best I could do under the conditions.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Enzo - Pokolbin, Hunter Valley

It was Cheesecake Boy and my first offical day in the Hunter Valley, and as per usual we did some breakfast wine tasting. However, it always gets to a point where wine alone stops satisfying the need for food.  I had heard about the scones at Enzo, so we decided to check them out and head off for some brunch, before we continued on to the rest of the vineyards for the day.

Charming entrance

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Harrigan's Irish Pub - Pokolbin, Hunter Valley

After our late lunch munchies of potato croquettes and the final packing of our getaway was attended to.  Cheesecake Boy drove us up to the Hunter Valley.  However, we were quite full when we got there around 6pm, and it wasn't until 10pm or so that night we finally got hungry.  We didn't feel like room service and most of the other places were closed, so it was off to Harrigan's the Irish pub as they were opened till midnight for some pub food.

The charming entrance
Fellow diners

Monday, April 11, 2011

Japanese croquettes

We needed some munchies before we trekked off to the Hunter Valley, so I decided to whip up some Japanese croquettes so that Cheesecake Boy would have ample energy to drive us up.  I am crazy about croquettes, but I am particularly smitten with Japanese croquettes due to their sweet but savoury taste.  Not many Japanese restaurants offer this dish and when they do it's a must order for me, so I was super excited when I came up across this fantastic recipe from Sumo Kitchen.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Good Luck Chinese Restaurant, Enfield

Cheesecake Boy and I are back from our Hunter Valley getaway, so it's back to some delayed eating posts, whilst I sort out the photos from our wonderful Hunter Valley trip.

We came to Good Luck Chinese Restaurant for a catch up with some of my friends, and this would have to be our third visit.  This restaurant is really in the middle of nowhere in Enfield, and the specialty is the Peking duck.  The Peking duck must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance.  Otherwise, you'll be lucky if there is a spare duck lying around here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pho Sam Noodle House, Epping

Since our last visit to PHD Vietnamese Restaurant, Cheesecake Boy has gone a bit pho tai crazy, but the issue is that Marrickville is a bit of a trek for us, especially when we're both exhausted from a long day at work.  This is how we ended up at Pho Sam in Epping.  Now, Pho Sam is not purely Vietnamese and they do have the Westernised Chinese dishes available too.  However, we had a Vietnamese feed in mind that day.

The entrance

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pasticceria Tamborrino, Five Dock

The holiday eating continued yesterday, when we dropped the car off at the mechanic for some maintenance before our drive down to the Hunter Valley.  While we were waiting for the car, we decided to take a bus down to Five Dock for some sweet breakfast treats.  We both love our Italian sweets and Pasticceria Tamborrino is one of our favourites.

First part of shop
Second part of shop
The counter

Monday, April 4, 2011

District Dining, Surry Hills

I'm on holiday mode already and am getting a bit slack with the posts, least there will be a lot of posts after our eating adventures are done these holidays.  Cheesecake Boy and my holiday adventures continue at District Dining.  I had been wanting to go to District Dining for a while and when Jump On It offered a deal late last year, where for $69 you got a three course meal for two and a bottle of wine. Naturally, I jumped on the deal, and have waited until last Saturday to have a long and leisurely lunch with Cheesecake Boy.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Malabar, Crows Nest

Last night, Cheesecake Boy and I celebrated our fourth anniversary.  Judging from our past choices of Jugemu & Shimbashi in Neutral Bay, Ericyes in Surry Hills and a picnic at Lane Cove National Park, we never really go to any particularly special places for our anniversary, as we like to choose firm favourites.  This year was no different, as we chose my favourite Indian restaurant Malabar in Crows Nest to celebrate.

Thankfully, Cheesecake Boy made a booking, as we saw a couple enter the restaurant before us being turned down, as they hadn't booked a table.  I have even been turned away on weekday nights without a booking at times, as this place is a favourite with the locals.  The only other nuisance, is the lack of parking around this side of Pacific Highway in Crows Nest.  We were lucky and found parking last night in under five minutes, and that was a record for us.

Now, the restaurant was very dim last night and I am very technologically challenged and impatient, so the photos are worse than usual, and doesn't do the food justice.   Also, I was very hungry and just wanted to tuck in.

Shop front