Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rosso Pomodoro - Balmain

Hubby's been craving good pizza for like EVER since coming back from Europe. May I stress the word good pizza. I've been putting off our hunt for pizza in Sydney as I've been slightly scarred by the plethora of non good pizza around but hubby promised me that this place - Rosso Pomodoro - is good.

Located at the bottom of some residential apartments in Balmain, I have to say, my heart sunk a little. Looked not much more than a local diner... but, to their credit, the place was packed and buzzing, with a waft of yumminess in the air. We decided to get a pizza each - as pizza is what this place is meant to be good for. Hubby ordered their 'special' for the night - the Gambero pizza (with anchovies added as an extra) and I ordered their Rocco pizza.

My Rocco pizza was pretty awesome! Topped with loads of rocket and prosciutto, shaved parmesan, mozarella and tomato, it was a pretty damn tasty disk of thin, crispy, crunchy, chewy dough. Pretty yum~
Rocco pizza
Hubby's Gambero pizza looked naked in comparison with tiny prawns scattered around. Funnily enough, it was actually still really tasty. Bits of tomato diced here and there, chilli scattered around and the anchovies (which was added as an extra) really finished this pizza nicely.
Gambero pizza
I have to say, I was surprised by the quality of these two pizzas. Definitely pretty yummy for Sydney standards. Not surprisingly, after having a pizza each we had no room in our stomachs for dessert >.<

Food - 9/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 6/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 29/40

Rosso Pomodoro
91/24 Buchanan Street  
Balmain NSW 2041
Tel: (02) 9555 5924

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cafe Morso - Pyrmont

It was a Saturday, the weather was good, the view was awesome, great cup of coffee and good food. What more could you ask for?

Our visit to Cafe Morso was definately a good one. We were served by this energetic, lively waiter who was attentive and coped way too much abuse by the table next to us. Starting with a large capp ($6) which came in a gigantic bowl - it was possibly enough to be full on coffee alone! The coffee was good - smooth, creamy, aromatic and lasted the whole breakfast (unlike usually, where my coffee is drunk within the first 5 minutes of arriving).

Bowl of coffee - $6
Food-wise, hubby ordered the 'Cafe Morso Breakfast' ($19) which came with eggs (he opted for fried), bacon, mushroom, roast tomato, chorizo, bacon, tomato relish and toast.It looked simple but good. The meats were charred well and the bread was thick - toasted well on the outside, still soft on the inside.
Morso Breakfast - $19
I found it a tough decision to make and many options sounded delicious. In the end, the truffled scrambled eggs ($16.50) reigned. The eggs were creamy and just a bit runny (the way I like them). The mushrooms (wild and king oyster) were sauteed in butter and was absolutely devine! And the toast (from Sonoma) was gorgeously delicious!
truffled scramble eggs with wild mushrooms - $16.50
So this was probably one of the more relaxing weekend breakfastes I've had in a while. Thoroughly enjoyed the food, view and company :)

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Value for money - 8/10
Overall - 32.5/40

Cafe Morso
21 Pirrama Road
Jones Bay Wharf - Lower Deck
Pyrmont NSW 2009
Tel: (02) 96920111

Monday, November 5, 2012

Alio - Surry Hills

You know that feeling when you're in a bit of a rush, and you want to enjoy dinner but you can't properly because you're edging to have your food delivered pronto and get frustrated when the service is slow? Well, I was stuck with that bit of agitation whilst dining at Alio recently.

Dining at Alio was a last minute decision. We were headed towards another restaurant in Surry Hills when our attention was grabbed but some nice aromas and semi-full restaurant for a Monday night. We waltzed on in - we had probably a bit over an hour allocated for dinner before our sugar hit and which we thought was ample time for an entree and main.

A quick squiz down their drinks menu and their sunset cosmopolitan caught my eye. A mocktail with a range of different juices promised - alas, all I could taste was apple. If I had closed my eyes and drunk this I would think... mmm... apple juice.

sunset cosmopolitan
An amuse bouche came out first. The small cup of pumpkin and ginger soup was really creamy and tasty and deliciousness. In retrospect, if what I got for dinner was a large bowl of this soup, I probably would have been pretty happy ~
pumpkin and ginger soup
We started with a an antipasti board ($34) to share. It was an impressive slab with prosciutto, bresaola, coppa Nduja salami, white anchovy, container of green olives, pickled onions, marinated mushrooms, yummy paremsan cheese and awesome buffalo mozzarella with bread sticked and bruschetta. Everything on the board was quite good. But then again, how bad could cheese, cold meats and bread get? :P
antipasti board - $34
After clearing the antipasti board, the waitress asked if we wanted out mains served. Yes indeed! but 5 minutes ticked by.... 10 minutes.... 15 minutes... and the time went on and on and on. We went from being early to our next destination to on time to late... 15 minutes before we had to be at our next booking, we asked the waitress to check on our food. She came back a bit later with just my pasta ($30). A few minutes later, hubby's mussels ($25) came out. Hubby's mussels were steamed in white wine and garlic. It also had zuccini slices, fennel and fregola. The sauce was really white winey and the garlic flavour (or any other taste for that matter) seemed to be drowned in this alcohol.
mussels in white wine and garlic - $25
I was a bit shocked at the presentation of my fettuccini. It was like some kid just slopped some pasta on a plate, drenched it in tomato water and chucked some cooked cherry tomato on top. Unimpressed. The hand rolled fettuccini was still al-dente, but the sauce was pretty dismal. the pan fried prawns were really quite bad - chopped up into miniscule pieces, overcooked and pretty tasteless.
prawn fettuccini - $30
And if you thought that was a bad end to the meal? Well,  we were in a rush, so we decided to pay for the meal at the counter. There was this guy standing there flirting with the waitress behind the cash register. Being flustered and all, the waitress handed us our bill... and being in a rush, we hubby just looked at the total amount and paid. It was not until I got in the car, thought about how the total amount seemed a bit fishy, and digged the receipt back out that we realised - yup, we paid for some other table's meal. Dammit - ripped off for a crappy meal! :(

Food - 6/10
Service - 5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 6/10
Overall - 24/40

5 Baptist Street
Surry Hills
Tel: (02) 8394 9368

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sugar Hit at the Sofitel - Sydney

The Sydney International Food Festival (or CRAVE) happens every year in the month of October. This is the time of the year for special lunches, brunches, dinners, high-teas and desserts. Unfortunately for this year, we were only able to catch one dessert ('sugar hit') event. In previous years, sugar hits have been a bit of a hit and miss - some are excellent, some mediocre... really depended on your luck and which cafe you end up at. And so, I made sure that my expectations were set at a reasonable level this time round as we entered the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel.

After a relatively bad dining experience (which I will blog about shortly), we were running a little late for our reservation. Nonetheless, we were greeted by a very friendly and cheerful waiter who directed us promptly to our seats. Without even asking for it, he subsequently came with two glasses of water (with lemon :P) and inquired about our choice of drink. Standard was a Brown Brother's dessert wine of sorts, but he informed us that we would substitute it with other drinks - coffees, teas, soft drinks etc. Being 10pm on a weeknight already, both hubby and I went for coffee. The long black and my cappuccino were both decent - nothing spectacular but they weren't bad.
long black

The friendly waiter then came back with our 'Sugar Hit'. I had chosen the Sofitel Hotel because of their variety offered in the dessert. It was a chocolate extravaganza with 5 different tasty morsels. There was the chocolate macaroon. this was average - chocolate filling was well integrated with the almond meringe shell. Hubby liked the chocolate eclair. The chocolate custard in the middle was smooth and not too sweet. The opera cake was in the middle - it had good layering, spongy, creamy and coffee syrupy and topped well with a thin layer of chocolate glaze. The chocolate tart was pretty full on. Very strong and very dense. On the other hand, whilst the chocolate mousse was rich and chocolatey, it was delightfully light and easy to consume.
chocolate platter
So I have to say, this was actually quite a decent Sugar Hit experience. The dessert was chocolatey and right up my alley. I liked how you get to choose your drink. And the waiter was heaps friendly and nice. For $20, you probably couldn't ask for too much more :)

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 8.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 8/10
Overall - 31/40

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
61-101 Phillip Street
NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9230 0700