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Hi all,

Apologies for the abrupt notice but I shall be soon closing down this Livejournal as I have reopened this blog at http://www.gothgourmande.com

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Iron Chef Event in Sydney 2010

Big props to Mister Toast for the invitation to dinner, I had a marvellous time at a not great point in my life so it was much appreciated.

The evening didn't start out as well as it otherwise could have, we started with excellent cocktails at the Marble Bar as we are known to do and were a little squiffy when we wandered to the Hilton ballroom which didn't help our cause when we discovered they had lost our order. Thankfully we had the confirmation email and credit card on us but the insistence was that we had not ordered. Seats were found, but only 2 for a party of 3 and if we wanted to all sit it would not be together. Mister Elbourne opted to leave Toast and I too it as Toast had organised the mission and I had not attended before and so it was that we were sat down... only to have the staff find our original order about 5 minutes later. With all this faffing about we missed the canapes and got seated twice.

Cue a very stompy Toast, Elbourne and myself having a glare at the waiters who responded by bringing continuous refills of wine far and above what was sensible. Still the rest of the night would proceed quite nicely apart from the point at which I cried at a former co-worker about the end of my relationship and the point at which Toast insisted that coffee was for suckers and what I really wanted was an espresso Martini leading to me shouting at the Marble Bar staff about my apparent need for Martini olives by the bucket. *cough* Drunk Amaya is not to be trusted.

Soon all is forgiven though, any meal that starts with this amount of tableware has got to be good.

Iron Chef Sakai

Chilled seafood on cauliflower mousse with mango dressing.
Matched with: 2009 Mt Difficulty Estate Pinot Gris

The cauliflower mousse in this dish actually put shame to the seafood, smooth soft and delicious it set off the cold seafood perfectly. The top of the dish is set with mango dressing nestling abalone, prawn and fresh vegetables. 

Chef Okazaki (Rise)

Tuna tataki, asparagus and lemongrass tomato salsa
Tuna rice paper roll
Tuna tartare with spicy miso in wanton cup
Matched with: 2009 Knappstein 'Three' Gewurztraminer/Riesling/Pinot Gris

Tuna and particularly raw tuna is amongst my favourite foods in the world and so a trio of tuna morsels is definitely the way to win me over. The tataki is seared perfectly and served with Thai flavours, the tartare is served in a crisp wanton cup with miso that I'm surprised hasn't wilted before being served given the number of people in the room.

I actually feel as though the wine is a little sweet for the dish but then I've never been a great fan of either Riesling or Gewurtztraminer.

While we eat a number of showman like Iron Chef events go on including a wine tasting and plenty of 'in the kitchen' behind the scenes moments. I'm more about the cooking than the showmanship but I was very keen on the 'behind the curtain' footage.

Chef Haru (Blancharu)

Spatchcock en croute de sel a la Haru
Matched with: 2008 Stonier Estate Chardonnay

I rather like en croute dishes as a whole but I think attempting to do so for an entire ballroom full of diners was folly. My dish is rather dry and not particularly appealing.

Iron Chef Chen

Lobster with chili sauce Szechwan style
Matched with: 2006 Argyle 'Reserve' Pinot Noir

This dish makes the whole night worthwhile. First we watch Iron Chef Chen prepare it on the stage and then we see more backstage footage. By the time the meal comes out everyone is fighting to get at it and I have to be quick smart with my photo taking.

The dish is served with a Chinese mantou roll for mopping up the sauce - something I'm glad of as it's filled with fermented soy for that biting umami flavour; the balls of Lobster and the sweet fruit are just fantastic and served with a light Pinot that offsets the whole dish perfectly.

Afterwards Iron Chef Chen does a quick tour of the room and we are able to snap a picture. Toast who is like the world's biggest Iron Chef fan is beaming like an idiot the whole time.

Chef Gary (Hilton)

Braised Wagyu veal cheek on green pea and wasabi mash with cabernet jus
Matched with: 2008 Petaluma 'The Hundred Line' Cabernet Sauvignon

After a very Asian feel to the rest of the cooking this seems like an odd choice however it is amazingly prepared and so I am disinclined to complain too much. Veal cheek is cooked sous vide for several hours until it is falling apart soft, sweet and gelatinous. It is served on a bed of sweet green pea and wasabi mash that is just divine and finished with a jus that brings more moistness to an already luscious dish. The wine is also a good match and I am rather a fan of Petaluma so kudos to the chef.

Chef Saeko (Ten)

Smoked chocolate and 'Delamain X.O. Fale and Dry 25 year old' mousse, with agar agar of milk and chocolate anglaise sauce
Matched with: 2004 Knappstein Vintage Fortified Shiraz

Now I'm not a huge chocolate fan but this dish is an inspired masterpiece that has me rolling my eyes and thumping the table. A member of the table who does not like sweets hands his over seeing my reaction and I grab for it despite the simply ludicrous of dairy I will be consuming. This being said Toast is allergic to seafood so we'd both come armed with a plethora of tablets to ensure we could make it through the meal.

The entire dish is a range of varying chocolate flavours and textures; the darker dots are an amazing chocolate emulsion, a decorated white chocolate disk rings a soft smooth chocolate bombe topped with a dark smokey delicious crisp and whose shadow falls onto a smooth geleed agar agar milk chocolate ring. All set off with a dark delicious wine; a real thundering way to finish the meal.

So what did I walk away from the event with? It was fun, it wouldn't have been anywhere near as fun without other foodies so I recommend if you are going to pay that you take a crew with you. On the other hand at $350 for a 6 course meal it would want to have been sex on a stick and honestly some of the dishes fell down, particularly as the kitchen seemed unable to make really world class cuisine for that many people at once. I think if the same courses had been done for 30 the affair would have been different than it was at a seating of 300.

Topped off with the fiasco regarding our order and the rudeness we were treated with as if their mistake were our fault it left me with a sour taste in my mouth given the price. On the other hand it was good fun and some of the dishes were incredibly memorable, and after that much wine... most things seem like a good idea.

The Rocks Aroma Festival 2010

Unfortunately the thing that I will say about the Aroma Festival is that as someone who goes to a lot of food oriented events there's really nothing here that's new and exciting for me and the Aroma Festival in particular was identical to last year's layout.

Still it's a nice day out, and one that's alcohol free and great in Winter when Sydney goes to a bit of a sleep. Since it was so similar to last year I rounded the day out by going along with my ex boyfriend... just like old times ;o)

Assorted Whisk and Pin baked goods

My current employer is a little famous for providing endless free food and they regularly stock these magnificent Whisk and Pin baked goods from the Blue Mountains. The cookies are huge, the size of my hand and a fairly hefty caloric boost to go with it but they're worth every bite. The Muesli cookies are an absolute my favourite as are the Macadamia and Fig cookies.

Limar Nougat with nuts and dried craisins

I am just a little obsessed with nougat. As someone who's not a big chocolate fan I drift immediately towards nuts and dried fruit based products and dried cranberries are tart and delicious against sweet honey/egg nougat.

Sparkle Cupcakes $3 each

These guys are great supporters of the LGBT community and are often to be found at Mardi Gras Fair Day amongst other outdoor events. They're great 'adult' cupcakes, great for buying boys with a sweet tooth as they avoid the standard pink frou frou stylings of most cupcake bakeries.

Thick sweet Italian hot chocolate is the perfect Winter pick me up.

Gumnut chocolates $6.50 for 3

Gumnut do wonderful organic chocolates and Australian flavours. The Spiced and Chilli chocolates are a real favourite and make great gifts.

Voodoo Rocky Roads and Slices $3 each take home packs also available

And here's an obligatory touristy shot of the bridge.

Twitpic food round up

I know I've been terrible with the posting but here's some of my Twitpic deliciousness of recent times:

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Dim Sum at the Pyrmont Fish Market

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Espetada at Bartino... Pyrmont

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Beef Rendang at Chinta Ria Darling Harbour

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Kalbe ssam with ssamjang at Ashfield Korean BBQ

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Chorizo al a plancha and albondigas at Captain Torres Sydney CBD

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Meatballs and pasta at XXII Pyrmont

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Freshly smoked salmon, cheese and all the trimmings at my father's house in Brisbane, Qld

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Health Potion and Mana Potion Cocktails at Mana Bar Fortitude Valley, Qld

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Gnocchi, pesto oil and rocket with goats cheese at the Botany View Hotel Newtown

Review: La Casa Ristorante, Russell Lea

 You always know that you're in for a good meal when a foodie chooses a restaurant for her birthday, and so it was going to the newly opened La Casa Ristorante in Russell Lea. La Casa is something that I have looked for quite some time in Sydney, a truly excellent Italian homestyle restaurant. This is a bit sad when you consider that I used to live in the Italian Forum and did not find any such thing there.

Brought to you by the brother sister Ruggeri team La Casa brings heart, soul, fresh ingredients and friendly faces to their restaurant which is already teaming with eager diners and reviewers only a short time after opening.

We went with a large group for a birthday dinner and they were still able to accomodate wonderfully and stayed up beat and pleasant the whole way. We had a banquet including wine for a very reasonable price but as this is not listed on the menu I am not certain if this was a special for our group and so will list the al a carte prices.

Luccarelli Negroamaro alla Toscana $22 ($6 by the glass)

For a moderately priced wine this is not a bad drop and goes excellently with the pasta and antipasto.

I felt strongly for the staff as we were... not shy in lapping up the wine and the sound raised to meet the drinking levels.

Pizza all'oglio (Garlic Pizza) $9

A great light starter on an excellent bread base, not to oily or filling.

Antipasto di casa per due persone con salumi, arrosto di verdure e formaggi $18

A fantastic antipasto plate including light soft prosciutto, fresh roasted vegetables and delightful home made salami. Ask for a small bowl for the olive pits though as they're very morish and one was not provided.

Polpette della Mamma $14

I have quite the weakness for a good mediterranean meatball having grown up in a Spanish family with a well guarded albondigas recipe. This dish is every childhood memory of grandma's cooking reaching out to the nostalgia centre of your brain and stroking it lovingly. The secret is multiple kinds of meat and a fresh tomato sauce that glistens with good quality oil. Served up with a fresh heavy slice of sour dough bread to chase the last morsels of sauce around the plate... and let me tell you we all did. I will be returning to La Casa for this dish if nothing else.

Fettucine con gamberi, aglio, olio, spinaci i pomodori $22

If you're going to order this make sure your date tries some as it's simply dripping in garlic. I would have liked a little more bite to the chilli but this is an excellent rendition of a classic fresh pasta with perfect al dente noodles.

Pappardelle con pancetta e fungi, vino bianco e crema

Mushrooms and cream aren't really my kind of food so I limited my trying of this dish, and you can tell I didn't take this picture! Still if you're a mushroom fan this would have been an excellent dish and the pappardelle were soft and luscious.

Penne alla Norma $16

This was definitely one of the table favourites! The sauce was thick and sweet studded with eggplant and olives and topped with the most amazing smooth ricotta I've ever enountered. A definite 'must order' and a great option for the vegetarians.

The food was already warming and fantastic but then we started onto the pizza, oh god the pizza! This is without a doubt the best pizza I've had in Sydney.

Diavola $17

OMG I WANT ANOTHER SLICE OF THIS PIZZA. The perfect base, the perfect amount of fresh tomato sauce, just the right mix of cheeses and the most amazing home made chilli pepperoni. The simplest pleasures are some times the best and by god this is a pizza to remember.

Bresaola $19

I'm very impartial to rocket on pizza and combined with the shaved parmesan and soft cold meats on another crisp but soft base, just excellent.

There were more pizzas and plenty of salad but by this time I was stuck into tales of new restaurants and food television with some of the other dinner goers so apologies.

Cannoli Siciliani $8

Sweet ricotta filled canoli are definitely up there as one of my favourite foods in the world, however I've been inundated with excellent Five Dock Canoli after years of running a small business with an Italian business partner, so I skipped these. If they're using the same ricotta as for the pasta though I would definitely order as it was amazing.

Birthday Tiramisu $9.50

Birthday dessert! I like cake but tiramisu is hard to beat and this came very recommended.

Affogato con liquore $14

Amazing sweet nut studded hazelnut gelato with Disaronno almond liqueur and excellent Italian espresso. I was so happy with this order I danced in my place; the ice cream and coffee were the perfect quality and just the right balance of tart and sweet.

All in all I must say that I cannot fault a damn thing about this restaurant. The quality of ingredients, the love and passion going into the food and the friendliness of the crew were absolutely paramount and highly recommended. The fact that this restaurant is so popular so quickly is no surprise to me and my advice is try and get in before the whole city discovers it.

La Casa Ristorante
@_LaCasa on Twitter

271 Lyons Road
Russell Lea
(located between Five Dock & Drummoyne)
Phone 9712 3882

Open Tuesday - Sunday for dinner from 5pm

Casual traditional atmosphere in a warm but modern setting
Licensed but family friendly

Taste of Sydney 2010

Okay so I'm a little late with the posting of this one but real life got in the way.

The "Taste of..." festivals are a great way to get a view into the culinary minds of your city without having to sit down to multiple $150 dinners. It's also a wonderful day out for a group of foodies, not to mention a good chance to restock charcuterie, endless cheese and perhaps your liquor cabinet.

In Sydney this means that Centennial Park gets filled with marquees and jostling fashionistas who don't mind putting away a bit of cake and champagne. Really, what more could a girl like me ask for?

There are also plenty of shopping opportunities for the home cook and premium quality cookware, knives and even whitegoods are on display to taunt the budget conscious with their shineyness and endless possibilities.

Unsurprisingly for a group of lushes we spent an inordinate amount of time purchasing alcohol - the only warning to give punters is that the alcohol licence shuts about an hour before each session and so if you wish to purchase liquor you should do it early at any Taste event. Though I was too busy bustling to the deadline for this reason to get pictures I really must give a shout out to Square One Botanicals vodka - a must if you like Zubrowka and also to Pama Pomegranate liquor which is an absolute flavour slap to the taste buds.

Apart from a good excuse to drink heavily at midday though the real attraction here is the top class chefs on show. So here are some of the dishes we tried throughout the day:

Danks St Depot: Organic Chicken Liver parfait with sweet vinegar raisins, dressed baby herbs and sour dough $10

While I may have had this dish many times it's still an absolute favourite, kudos to Jarod for another good year.

Bird Cow Fish: Terrine of Berkshire pork with "Grain Organic Bakery" white sourdough and a remoulade dressed salad $12

This is such a wonderful dish in this kind of weather, cold and satisfying with a glass of sparkling.

Bird cow fish: Braised Cape Grim beef cheek and glazed onion pie in a sour cream and puff pastry case wsith red wine veal jus $12

This is another dish that appeared on last year's menu but while it's an absolute classic regardless I will say that the recipe seems to have improved from last year and the pastry was absolutely perfect.

Danks St Depot: Beef ribs smoked in Watermelon with a Watermelon and avocado salad $12

All the twitterati foodie types were following the creation of this recipe for a long time before the actual festival with interest and by god it worked. The watermelon added a whole new dimension to the smoking in place of a sugar solution that is highly recommended and worth trying if you have a home smoker.

Guillaume at Bennelong: Wagyu Beef Daube with Paris Mash $12

Trust Guillame to do such a good rendition of such a classic French dish, the pomme puree particularly here is excellent and the meat melts in your mouth. It seems sad to serve it in a disposable plate.

Restaurant Balzac: Crispy Wagyu Beef with Wild Mushroom and Truffle Foam $10

The equivalent wagyu cigar served at last years Taste festival had me in such paroxysms of delight that I insisted on being dragged to Balzac only to be disappointed. This dish then kind of backs up my feeling that Balzac deserves at best one hat and at worst to be shelved until it has modernised. The foam has melted in preparation not fit for the festival atmosphere and the presentation on the wagyu this time around makes it look like a slightly upmarket chiko roll. Unimpressed.

Lets face it though I have a terrible sweet tooth so onto the desserts...

Pat and Stick's Ice Cream Sandwich 2 for $10

I discovered these delights at an Open Air Cinema viewing and my god are they good. Real ingredients go into thick creamy ice cream; sharp coffee, rich chocolate, good quality vanilla and heady light peppermint each excellent in their turn and sandwiched between good quality country feel biscuits. Definitely a worthy adult ice cream treat on a hot day.

Approved by Lou:

Assiette: Fig and ricotta pizza with Honey Ice Cream $8

Not what we were expecting but an excellent use of seasonal produce, Lou wanted to go back for more.

Longrain: Tapioca pudding with poached jackfruit and lychees $8

It is imperative to enjoy this dish that you were not ruined on tapioca by a boarding school cafeteria. For a lactic intolerant such as myself this was pure heaven though. Tapioca boiled in coconut cream with beautiful fresh sharp Asian fruits and a spiced quinelle; the perfect texture and taste off sets creamy and tart acidic and sweet.

Guillaume at Bennelong: Pistachio Macarons $8

Another perfectly executed French classic, perhaps a little uninspired but morish nonetheless. I fear that due to MasterChef we will see a seemingly endless march of Macarons over the next year.

Jonah's at Whale Beach: Vanilla panna cotta with lavender honey and fresh pomegranate $12

Another reappearance on the menu but oh so forgiven because to this day I still salivate thinking of this dish. Soft sweet perfect panna cotta is offset with strong lavender honey and fresh pomegranate seeds.

As if the taste and texture wasn't just perfect the movement to it must be applauded. When Nigella Lawson said that panna cotta "should have the quiver of a 17th-century courtesan's inner thigh" she surely meant this dish:

Taste of Sydney is an excellent way to sample restaurants on a limited budget and to get yourself some gourmet ingredients difficult to otherwise find such as game bird charcuterie, buffalo cheeses, organic wines and exotic meats. Highly recommended, but plan well and take some friends, if possible get yourself a seat as early as possible in a session.
While on holiday in the US we pottered out to Baltimore, to visit some old internet friends and take in the kind of sad Poe shrine. While we were there we got taken to the marvellous Tamber's Diner.

Tamber's is what you think of when you think an American diner... kind of. The kind of is primarily because this is a university town, it's a little more ecclectic than your average US city and it's filled with frat boys and dorm room stoners. That means that Tamber's is the kind of diner you can walk into drunk and say "I want ... a cheese burger... and some paratha ... and a slice of pie" and they actually bring it to you.

Welcome to Tamber's Indian/American Diner experience...

Samosas with mint yoghurt and tamarind sauce $3.95USD

Reuben sandwich with fries and coleslaw $8.95USD

Onion pakoras $3.95USD

Chilli cheeseburger $8.95USD

Onion stuffed Naan $2.75USD

Palak paneer $9.95USD

Country fried chicken with Mac'n'Cheese $8.95USD

Bacon cheese burger $8.95USD

Onion rings $5.50USD

Pumpkin pie $3.95USD

There's not much point in me running down every dish, it's good hearty diner food and everything it looks like...not excellent, not fancy, but warming and homely. The major amusement was the company and the mix of dishes. The Indian food was surprisingly good, but then most of the management of the staff seemed to be Indian so I gues that's not altogether too shocking.

The service was kind sweet and attentive, the food warming on a cold winter's day and everything we wanted. The Pumpkin Pie was a real American diner highlight and I'm glad we found somewhere that had it at Christmas time.

Apart from the seemingless endless aray of cheap service labour in the US the thing that boggles me is the unlimited drinks. It's enough to do serious damage to a caffeine junkie like myself. Less than $3 and I think I drank about two and a half litres of diet coke, little men just kept appearing with jugs, my friends drinking coffee had much the same. Hard to beat!

Tamber's Restaurant

3327 Saint Paul Street (at 34th Street)
Baltimore, MD 21218 USA

Phone +1-410-243-5777

Casual dining atmosphere
Family friendly

Review: Signorelli Gastronomia, Pyrmont

As many of you will know I recently got a job in Pyrmont, which means that I'm actually close to other foodies to take out for lunch. To top this off I get provided with food at work so I don't mind splurging on the occasional dining out experience ... enter the Pyrmont Lunch Club in all its glory.

Signorelli Gastronomia is a foodies delight where you can dine, shop or even learn to cook in a sea of gourmet offerings. The very Italian staff and food are not my usual tastes but they are worth stopping for, especially after a bad day and when the Season suits your tastes.

There's a number of light offerings if you're after a more casual affair, charcuturie to make the mouth water or you can even watch the chefs prepare your pizza on the in kitchen cameras. We're no casual diners though and it's winter so it's time to lap up the seasonal fare with gusto and a side order of vino rosso.

Ham hock and foie gras terrine $18

It's not a large lunch dish on it's own but I never met a liver I didn't like. This dish is very salty, especially with the pickled vegetables so don't be light on the water but this is the perfect late Autumn dish and worth a try when available. Not for the feint hearted the terrine is hardly light on fat, the bread fried, the vegetables picked and the dish basted with butter.

Osso bucco Milanese $30

Another good hearty seasonal favourite with its rich tomato sauce and slow simmered meat but not the best rendition I've encountered and certainly not for the price tag. For me the risotto is too cheesey and you can see the plasticising film on the surface, a little more stock might have done the chef a favour.

Open Lasagne $16

Not your average lasagne al forno this dish has the perfect textured noodles, shredded oxtail and a light perfect collagen filled stock; definitely a return visit for this lactic intolerant.

Fettucine with braised goat, Jerusalem artichoke and chilli $18 / $26

Goat you say? Jerusalem artichoke? You had me at hello. The light chilli laced jus on the noodles doesn't overpower the delicate flavour of the goat, the pasta is perfectly al dente and the artichokes melt in my mouth. A perfect warming winter meal and a wonderful order.

Signorelli Gastronomia for me can be a little hit and miss. Their meat, cheese and wine selection are enviable and any gourmande would be well to spend their time browsing the shelves and the fridges in their retail section. The meals are very seasonal and in short runs depending on the quality of available ingredients and the appropriate weather; this means that finding the excellent dishes can be difficult when you're not sure if the winning items will be back on the menu on your next return. When they do get the dishes right though they're stunning and compiled of excellent fresh ingredients.

For a fairly small restaurant the service can be delayed at lunch, a very early or late seating would be advised. Keep an eye out for their Master Class offerings which change with the seasons.

Signorelli Gastronomia
Ground floor of Accenture/Google Building
48 Pirrama Rd
Pyrmont NSW 2009

Phone: 02 8571 0616

Formal dining atmosphere
Gourmet retail store attached
Very busy at lunch due to local business parks

Review: Darley St Bistro, Newtown

At some magic point the Botany View Hotel underwent a major reconstruction and went from a dodgy old man pub with tiles on the wall to the place to be in South Newtown. There's the lively poker games and rowdy trivia nights and Sunday night live music... but more than that there's the Darley St Bistro.

I was convinced to go by a friend with a bit of intrepidation in my voice. This pub is about 2 doors up from me in Newtown and I still had no compulsion to go based on the looks. Boy was I surprised, the food is eye rolling, plate pointingly good and has now become a staple in my eating landscape. The only unfortunate thing I can say about the Darley St Bistro is that the rest of the neighbourhood seems to have found it too and getting a table at prime dinner time is now a nightmare.

Nonetheless it's definitely worth a try, especially if you can get there at lunch when you're more likely to get a comfy seat outside. Every meal we've tried here has been good, but do try something that's not just standard pub fair... it's far too good.

Home made gnocchi with chorizo, arugula and basil oil $14

Now when you order gnocchi at the pub, you kind of expect mass produced hard nuggets to appear. These soft delicious and butter fried gnocchi were a real surprise. Swimming with fresh arugula and slices of crisp fried chorizo. A great meal on a warm Sunday afternoon with a pint.

Confit of pork belly with broccoli and sweet corn mash $24

Sweet soft pork belly with a crisp top and a chili jam are presented with sweet creamy soft corn mash that cuts through the fat. You'll never be so happy to stop caring about the fat intake.

Chicken Burrito with Guacamole $20

You might think this is "just a burrito" but as the chef said to me once "it's made with a bit of love." Newtown is quite light on good Mexican but this kills my cravings ten fold and leaves me salivating for another for days. Filled with rice, just the right amount of chilli sauce and cheese and crisped in a soft tortilla it's topped with a creamy chipotle sauce and served with guacamole and sour cream.

Pumpkin canneloni with blue cheese sauce $16

The filling of these canneloni is soft and sweet delicious, but full of veges and light enough to make you feel good afterwards. The edges of the canneloni are crisped and caramelised and the soft blue cheese sauce cuts through the sweetness with its acidity. Be warned though, this is a large serving, don't be scared to give up.

Corned beef with mash, honey mustard sauce and greens $18

This is not your grandmother's corned beef! The meat is soft and shreds perfectly under a fork, it's only barely pickled but tangy enough to excite. The mash isn't anything special but you will chase the sweet acidic sauce with it. Topped with one of my favourites - asparagus. Just perfect.

Lemon Myrtle Cheesecake $12

It's highly unlikely you'll have space left for dessert, but if you do they're definitely worth it. No boring neufchatel French cheese cake this packs a punch with the citrusy taste of Lemon Myrtle, an Australian native seed that adds bite and texture to a dense creamy dessert. Recommended.

As if this wasn't enough the Botany View also stocks a range of premium beer and cider on tap. $16 for a jug of Bulmers? Yes please. Get yourself down there, there's no excuse for eating at The Townie when this food is on offer barely 10 mins walk away.

Botany View Hotel

Dinner: 7 nights 6.30pm - 9.30pm
Lunch: Fri, Sat and Sun 12pm - 2.30pm

597 King Street Newton
PH: 9519 4501
Fax: 9517 9004

Pub atmosphere, fully licensed
Children welcome upstairs in family eating area only

Review: Khamadhenu, Newtown

Khamadhenu is the restaurant so popular they had to put two of them on King St. With so many Asian restaurants in Newtown it's easy to overlook such a restaurant but don't make this mistake. This is without a doubt one of the best curry houses I've been to, the service is immaculate and the food fresh, light and complex.

Aloo masala dosa $8.00

I love how readily dosa are available in Sydney. The paper thin pancake is filled with a mild spiced vegetable curry and served with a tomato chilli dipping sauce and a coconut jam. It is perfectly crisp and light, the sauces so good I stash them for eating with my rice and the curry light and sweet but with complex spices that can each be tasted.

Beef Vindaloo $12.90

Now we purposely don't ask for ludicrous heat but this was quite a moderate vindaloo. Again the thing that I am amazed about with the curries here are how much I can taste each part of the complex spice mix. The sauce is creamy and light on the toungue with ground nuts and smooth tomato sauce. I moan appreciatively as I eat it.

Lamb Saag $12.90

I have a weakness for saag, a sauce made of minced Spinach, it's so creamy without requiring any dairy and the lightness compliments the tender meat perfectly. This is an excellent rendition and I devour the entire place despite being incredibly full by the end of the meal.

Garlic naan $3

The naan are made perfectly, fresh and light and obviously straight from the tandoor. Many naan in Australia tend towards the heavy side but these are not and have an almost roti like texture. You can spot the arm of a good chef by the fact that these are perfectly crisp without any sign of being overdone, a hard feat to pull off in the difficult to manage tandoor heat.

Lemon Rice $4

Having both bread and rice is a little of an extravagance but it looks too good to pass up. Nonetheless I am not able to eat all of it. Mixed with nuts, cardamom and seeds this lemon rice is deliciously fragrant and adds texture to an already gorgeous meal.

Khamadhenu is highly recommended, excellent quality meals at affordable prices. There are meals to suit all allergen sufferers and eating choices. They deliver as well as having 3 branches in Newtown and Neutral Bay however avoid dosa and fried dishes for delivery to avoid disappointment.


377a King St Newtown
02 9557 2186

Neutral Bay
12 Waters Rd, Neutral Bay
02 9953 9999

171 King St, Newtown
02 9550 2611

Casual atmosphere, family friendly
Reservations not required but recommended for busy nights



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