Monthly Archives: June 2016

No 1 Bent St by Mike, Sydney

Mike McEnearney, like a few other chefs, has migrated to the CBD.  There’s been a flurry of openings this year down this end of town – Mercado, Huberts and Indu spring to mind – with 1821 and Balcon soon to follow.  He’s taken over the short lived Acqua Pazza site, though it now looks much bigger with its polished concrete floors and a variety of tables, including some communal.

The first visit, some three weeks into opening, left me a little gobsmacked when our server said that it was $2 per person for tap water because of “our awesome filtration system”.  They couldn’t be serious, but yes they were, our group paid $12 for Special Sydney Tap.  By my second visit a few weeks later, I was waiting for a repeat of that line, but by then they had cottoned on to the fact that this wasn’t a such a good idea and the awesome filtration water was given free.  The service too was smoother by then, but my dining friend thought it lacked a little warmth and sincerity.

And of course the food, the main event? Well that I think was better on my second visit too, though a mixed bag. But while the food is designed to share, the portions are on the small side.

I will say that overall I think the vegetables overall outshine the protein.  For instance the beetroot, rhubarb and edamame salad was a lovely fresh start.

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So too was a simple watermelon, tomato, mint and haloumi salad

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The chicken liver pate was tasty, but the bread was a little miserly.  We had to ask for more, which was readily provided, but its such an easy thing to be generous with upfront.

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I was a fan of these sweet and sour sardines, ship those in.

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But another seafood based entrée – orange cured mackerel with fennel, endive and pistachio – I found a bit odd.

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The slivers of grilled squid I could find in this dish with beans and chorizo were tender, but the dish needed a bit of salt.

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The beef cheek and bone marrow pot pie had absolutely gorgeous pastry.  A rich and satisfying dish, but $37 is also a rich price for a relatively small pie meant to be shared

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The cabbage was delicious, but the pork stuffing a little bland.

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The whole flathead is a little confronting when it comes out.  It is served on the terracotta tile on which it is cooked, so was a little dry.

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Spit roast chicken – delicious and juicy.  Again for a main with a $39 price tag, its pretty small for a dish designed to share.

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Tender lamb, complemented nicely with sweet pear

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Brussel sprouts with black cabbage and chestnuts – yum.

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No 1 Bent St By Mike, 1 Bent St, Sydney Ph 02 9252 5550

No. 1 Bent St by Mike Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Biscotti al latte (Italian milk biscuits)

These very simple biscuits made with pantry staples are more like a mildy sweet bread.   Italians aren’t big breakfast eaters, usually opting for a brioche and a caffe latte; biscuits like these are especially for that purpose.


1kg plain flour
16g baking powder
400g caster sugar
250ml full cream milk
250g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk, extra

Making them
1. Combine the flour, baking powder, and caster sugar in a bowl. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on low speed, add the butter, milk and four eggs and combine until smooth (this could also be done just with a wooden spoon if you don’t have a mixer). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees fan forced.
2. Remove from the fridge, tip onto a lightly floured surface and give it a brief need. You can then start shaping biscuits in your desired shape/size. I rolled the dough into thin logs (as if you were rolling gnocchi) then cut with a knife. Lay out on a baking tray lined with baking paper, ensuring there is a couple of centimetres between each biscuit
3. Combine the egg yolk and extra milk in a small bowl, then using a pastry brush lightly brush each biscuit. Put the trays in the oven and bake for 10 or so minutes until lightly golden (if the bottoms are golden they are ready). Remove from oven and allow to cool. Will store well in an airtight container.

Umii Modern Izakaya, Drummoyne

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There’s a new Japanese kid on the Inner West block, occupying the space next to the long time popular Ocean Foods.  A few of my friends had been and said it was pretty good, so we thought we’d give it a whirl.

Obviously keen to show off the freshness of their seafood, this rotating glass fridge of what is on offer is right at the front door.

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So of course we have to try some sushi and sashimi, both of which are excellent quality.

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The waiter recommends the scampi with the foie gras, and while delicious (loved the mayo with chilli on the side), I do wonder if they have forgotten the foie gras as I can’t really taste it.

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The steamed gyoza – a current favourite eat of my small folk – are straightforward and tasty.

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The kiddie serve of tuna rolls on the menu that day is generous and I steal one.

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The scallops alas are overcooked, probably the result of a kitchen that is a bit frenzied for Mother’s Day lunch.

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But the frenzy has diminished a little by the time our last dish comes out, the salmon teriyaki, and this is textbook perfect and silky.  We are tempted to order another.

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The restaurant space itself is dark, the table next to us commenting that they can’t read the menu, but I don’t mind it. And staff are friendly and enthusiastic. Overall a good experience.

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Umii Modern Izakaya, 152 Lyons Road, Drummoyne Ph 02 9181 4666
Umii Modern Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato