Tag Archives: food with a view

Burnt Orange, Mosman

You’ll find Burnt Orange in a pretty cottage amongst the trees at Middle Head in Mosman looking out over the water, so it is understandably very popular for breakfast and brunch.

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They have four morning sittings on a weekend for breakfast at staggered half our intervals starting from 8.30am with an hour and a half per sitting. We and our friends opted for the first one. The breakfast menu is pretty standard – eggs, bacon, pancakes and the like, and all quite well executed. The sourdough bread is delicious. Though we do ask for a fried egg for one of our Small People and are told “ah no, we can’t do that, it requires a different griddle and it’s too difficult”. Um, didn’t think a small fry pan would be all that hard really, or maybe fried eggs are taboo in Mosman, not sure which. And although we are the first sitting and it is not busy we need to chase our drinks, which arrive after our meals.

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I go for the breakfast board, which has a very nicely done confit of trout. But I find the Avoca brown bread extremely dry and dense so don’t eat it, and pinch some sourdough instead.

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Attached to the café is a retail shop with a variety of treasures. I raise my camera to take some snaps. “Oh, no, you’re not allowed to take photos here”. Ok. I’ll take them in the Louvre or the Vatican instead, they don’t seem to mind.

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Burnt Orange, 1109 Middle Head Road, Mosman, Ph 02 9969 1020
http://www.burntorange.com.au

Burnt Orange Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Newport, Newport

The Newport Arms was always a great place to meet some friends on a Summer weekend and pass a few hours having a chat and a drink.  But there was no doubt it was looking a little tired.  Enter Merivale who have now taken it over (and dropped the “Arms” from the name) and are gradually refurbishing it, with the first stage opening recently. Its a similar concept to Coogee Pavilion, but on a much larger scale, more outdoor space, and that great view over the water. A grey day and coolish day doesn’t stop the crowds from descending; a live band is playing and the atmosphere is relaxed as it ever was.

You’ll need to go with some friends so you can take a divide-and-conquer approach to the food ordering, as its all at separate counters.  There’s The Shack (burgers, fish and chips, salads), Vinnie’s (Pizza), The Kiosk (rotisserie and meats), and The Seafood Market (self explanatory, and they were doing a roaring trade in buckets of fresh prawns and oyster platters).  In the children’s play area you can also grab a coffee and some treats, or a freshly made juice from The Juice Bar nearby.  Thankfully you’ll find a map on the menu to help you out

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Justin Hemme’s was in the kitchen at The Shack that day, not quite flipping burgers but busy at the pass making sure all was running smoothly and calling orders.  And if I’d spent a rumoured $50 million on a site, I’d be doing the same.  Whoever trains his staff though, is worth their weight in gold.  As it started to sprinkle, staff members immediately appeared with bunches of logo’d blue umbrellas, so people wouldn’t get wet while queuing for food.  Others appeared with squeegies, getting water off all the outdoor tables.  It was pretty slick for something that had only been open a few weeks.

The food was tasty and crowd pleasing.  The pizza and the salt and pepper squid were definitely among the highlights.  Burgers looked good but smallish for the price, add a snack of wings to the order as well if you’re going down that route.

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There is a small parking lot (I expect it will be bigger once the full site is complete), but there are also shuttle buses from Manly. Thoughtful lot, aren’t they?

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The Newport, 2 Kalinya Street, Newport
http://merivale.com.au/thenewport

Newport Arms Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

LuMi Bar and Dining, Pyrmont

With a name like Federico Zanellato you couldn’t be anything other than Italian. But don’t go to LuMi, Pyrmont’s new waterside diner, expecting Fede’s take on Nonna Rosaria’s gnocchi or Zia Maria’s tiramisu. Having worked in some fine dining establishments in Italy and throughout Europe, followed by Japan and most recently as head chef at hatted Ormeggio, Australia is now his adopted home – how fortunate for us. He realised our multicultural and food adventurous society would be willing to explore a fusion of Italian and Japanese, which on the face of it sounds a little worrisome. But any concerns are completely unfounded. He pulls it off. Beautifully.

Dinner is an eight course degustation for $95. Waterside, with nicely spaced tables, lovely crockery, and handsomely plated food, it is well worth it. In the style of Momofuku, the chefs deliver the plates to you and talk you through the course, which sound so much better accented with Italian (Zanellato’s brother is also in the kitchen, and his wife on the floor). And we both agree we’d rather come here than Momofuku across the road, which is double the price, any day of the week.

First up is a plate of “snacks”: a cheese tartlet with corn and parmigiano; salt and vinegar rice chips; and a potato and rosemary focaccia, the last probably being the closest thing you’ll find resembling traditional Italian. I enjoy them all, and the interesting flavours and textures make you look forward to what’s coming.

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Chawanmushi, a Japanese egg custard, in a savoury style with tomato water. Texturally perfect custard with a tomato accent, I love it.

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White cucumber with apple and sour cream. So pretty on the plate and a refreshing dish.

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Veal tartare with tarragon mayo roasted capsicum, buckwheat.  This is the only one that didn’t do it for me (and normally I love a good tartare) but just a personal flavour preference, my partner in crime thought it was great.

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The fragrance as each of the pasta dishes hits the table is incredible. Our first pasta course is spelt ravioli with burnt butter, pumpkin, Avruga caviar, and chives. Its a rich dish so just the right size.

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Our second pasta dish is spaghetti alla chitarra with orange buerre blanc, bottarga, and scampi. “Alla chitarra” refers to how the pasta is made, a stringed contraption that looks like a guitar (chitarra).

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We adore the Pork Jowl with, Celeriac, Quinoa, hidden under a layer of spinach. It’s a knockout dish and one of the stars of the night.

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The “Evergreen” pre dessert – Sorrel,Lemon Basil, Mint, Shiso, parsley – is like walking in to a delicious cold pressed juice bar, imparting a feeling of good health.LuMi (11)

Zanellato generously sends over an extra dish, his take on strawberries and cream – strawberry granita with whipped cream and ice cream. It’s a good lead in to dessert.LuMi (12)

To finish is a ginger ice cream, white chocolate, passionfruit, yoghurt crumble. Its thankfully not too sweet and the crumble gives it texture. LuMi (13)

I doubt I’m making a big call when I say there’ll be a hat or two coming LuMi’s way in the next Good Food Guide line up. The phones will start ringing like crazy when then happens, so go discover it before then.

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LuMi Dining, 56 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont, (02) 9571 1999
http://www.lumidining.com

LuMi Bar & Dining on Urbanspoon

Chiosco by Ormeggio, Mosman

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Alessandro Pavoni seems to be a man on a mission – a mission to deliver high quality Italian food to Sydney’s North Shore, where dining choices can be somewhat, ah, limited. Ormeggio was his first baby, now all grown up and crowned with two hats, followed earlier this year by Via Alta, and just before Christmas, Chiosco (Italian for kiosk).  A compact but open space, Chiosco is appropriately nautically themed and with a casual vibe. Kids are always welcome in any Pavoni establishment (which I love), and in this case, so are boats, as boat catering is available, and you can rock up in your boardies with a bit of sand if you so desire. They do breakfast too.

Our friendly waiter hands us menus and tells us dishes are designed for sharing, which is just as well as I pretty much want to try everything on it. And it is all delicious – Pavoni and Chef Victor Moya’s version of Italian “street food” – is simple, well executed and well priced food. As my husband said, “there is nothing here that we wouldn’t order again” (and again). I didn’t photograph everything we ate (do try the ragu, its excellent), and we over-ordered, and the food came to $38 per head, which I thought was great value. Plus it is currently BYO.

We tried suppli – crumbed risotto balls with peas, oxtail ragu on fontina cheese. Absolutely cracking!

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Burrata (a devine creamy mozzarella if you haven’t tried it before, I love it) with basil oil and beetroot. There were also some sourdough crumbs which added texture

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Fritto misto – a mix of Hawkesbury school prawns and baby calamari. Loved the boxed presentation.

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Corn on the cob. The smoky paprika and pecorino cheese take it to another level

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Baby octopus skewers with a salmoriglio dressing

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Charcoal gamberoni – huge prawns with a tangy chilli dressing

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Our ravenous kids also wanted burgers along with the ragu, they were massive.

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I can’t think of an appropriate Italian translation of the phrase “mate, love your work” (ben fatto doesn’t quite cut it), but that about sums it up.

Chiosco by Ormeggio, D’Albora Marinas The Spit Spit Rd Mosman, Ph 02 9046 7333
http://www.chiosco.com.au/

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Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, Circular Quay

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There’s never any argument that we have one of the world’s most stunning harbours, even on a grey day. And it’s even better to sit right beside it and enjoy a meal. But on many occasions there has been a food-view trade off – great view, not so good food (places like Ormeggio, Berowra Waters Inn and Pilu are an exception, with a great showing on both fronts). One day Mamma Rosa and The Sisters get the ferry into the Big Smoke, and I walk down from my office to Circular Quay to meet them. Our last get together was at Via Alta.

Today we are heading to Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, as Mamma Rosa is a big oyster fan, a taste I inherited from her. We are warmly welcomed and the staff that day were absolutely lovely – friendly, warm, helpful – nothing was too much trouble.

We start with sea scallops with pork belly and shemiji mushroom – fat scallops, well caramelised, and we enjoy it.

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We then go for the Ultimate Oyster Bar Indulgence Platter ($225) and it looks great on the table, accompanied by various (somewhat pedestrian) sauces. The oysters though sadly are disappointing, and just don’t have the beautiful freshness I’ve found elsewhere (for instance the previous week at Gardels the oysters seemed like they’d just been plucked from the sea) and the mussels we have to send back. The best parts for me are the crab and the lobster, fresh and sweet and we enjoy every bit of them. The battered seafood is good too. It’s a bit of a shame about the oysters given the location (and the name of the place!), but maybe we just caught them on an off day.

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oysterbar4Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, Circular Quay East, Sydney, Ph (02) 9427 2937
http://www.sydneycoveoysterbar.com

Sydney Cove Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

Berowra Waters Inn, Berowra Waters

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It’s a gorgeous sunny Sydney Sunday in Autumn. We’re with four treasured friends, who we’ve known for fourteen odd years. Our collective offspring have been appropriately palmed off, the Bolly is chilled, and our driver, Ray, arrives. The cork is popped, giggles ensue, and we relax on the hour long drive up to Berowra Waters Inn. It doesn’t get much better than this. Ray wonders what he’s signed up for, these six laughing maniacs in the back.

We pull up to the restaurant’s private ferry wharf. More giggles now that we’re bubbled up. Tempted to take a bet that one of us falls in the water while trying to get on the boat. But we make it to the tranquil and serene restaurant, manned by Irishman Brian Geraghty, of Quay and Bilson’s pedigree. The room is simple, serene, tranquil, and the staff are similarly serene and welcome us warmly.

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The menu is a 7 course degustation, priced at $175, and there is a wine matching option. But, in one of those rarities in fine dining land, they allow BYO (corkage is $30). Ploughing through cobwebs and dust in our basements, we’ve unearthed some smashing vintages. Appropriate, as we discover, for the meal soon to be placed before us. Though ‘meal’ doesn’t quite do it justice. Experience? Indulgence? Irish flight of fancy? Whatever you decide to go with, the standout for all of us was the flavour that is so cleverly packed into every dish. I also loved the beautiful dinnerware that was used, different for each course.

First up, an amuse bouche – tomato sorbet with a tomato jelly, pistachio and rice crumb, and parmesan custard. Start with the refreshing top, then the texture of the rice and pistachio, and then the devine parmesan custard (Brian, would you mind passing on the custard recipe?) – we scraped every bit out of our bowls.

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Next the bread is offered – there is an onion brioche which we all love – absolutely gorgeous – and a white sourdough. Served with a tomato butter, which was mild in flavour, I think I would have preferred a top quality rich butter.

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Scallop with brandade and cauliflower – a beautiful menagerie of texture

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Confit of ocean trout, smoked milk, dashi and lemon foam. The trout itself didn’t measure up to Tetsuya’s (can anyone?) but combination of crunch and flavour was right up there.

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Bacon and egg. Not quite the bacon and egg you’ll find at your local café (they really must get with the program), and so very clever. Those super crisp angel hair type fries with the smokey bacon flavour throughout. Pure yum. Breakfast will never be the same.

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Sweetbread and pumpkin. Usually when I see sweetbread on the menu I run a million miles and it was time to face up to it. I figured that if I was going to try it anywhere it may as well be with by a chef who’s done the Michelin star restaurant thing. And turns out this was one of my favourite dishes. Again, the kitchen nails it on the flavour and texture front.

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Duck, cabbage and pear – the duck piece was underseasoned and we all reached for the salt. But the cabbage salad with macadamia through it, and the cabbage roll with duck were both very tasty.

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Prettier than a picture and delicious to boot, goat cheese, beetroot and liquorice. Check out the colour Mother Nature provides.

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And to finish, apple and doughnut was what the menu said and another pretty picture arrives on the plate. Caramel sauce, yoghurt, crumble. More more more please!

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The extravaganza takes us a leisurely four hours (let them know if you’re on a time constraint). Ray is wondering nervously what his passengers will be like on the return trip.  We get the little boat back across the river and meander back to the car.

Clever, beautiful, food in such harmonious surrounds. I’ll be back.

Berowra Waters Inn, Via East and West Public Wharves Berowra Waters, ph +61 2 9456 1027
http://www.berowrawatersinn.com/

Berowra Waters Inn on Urbanspoon

Deckhouse, Woolwich

You can tell when it’s Summer in Sydney. We gravitate towards water, whether to swim in, sail on, or dine by. On the elegant Woolwich peninsula, around the corner from Cucinetta, you’ll find Deckhouse, part of the Dedes Group that owns Dedes, Flying Fish, and Watergrill. It’s a lovely setting, tranquil and hidden.

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The menu, as you’d expect, has plenty of seafood.

We start with some garlic bread. Rather than stock standard garlic bread, it was toasted country style sourdough with lashings of garlic butter

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Tempura crispy prawns with Asian sauce & slaw. These were enjoyable, but this wasn’t tempura – I would describe them as battered prawns instead given the thickness and texture.

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Roast duck with watercress, orange salad & peking dressing – slightly tough but very well flavoured – however it was three tiny slivers.

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Crispy soft shell crab on a pickled organic salad with chilli & green mango dressing – enjoyable and crisp

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Seared tuna with lime crust wasabi, soya & soba noodle salad.  When this came out, we had to check that it was the main course, the size meant we thought it was an entrée.  The tuna was melting, but the noodle salad bland and boring.

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Deckhouse fish & chips tempura batter & fat chips. Like the prawns, this was more a standard batter than tempura – though it was a good batter with flaky fish.  It looked like a generous plate, but there really wasn’t that much fish on there.

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Whole baked rainbow trout with wilted asian greens & tamarind glaze. A very generous dish which would have serverd two, and nice fresh Asian greens, but the tamarind was so incredibly salty that we had to scrape most of it away or the fish would have been inedible.

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Tiramisu with mascarpone & coffee chocolate bark.  A bit too dense and solid for my liking.

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Steamed fig & golden syrup pudding with hokey pokey ice cream. Good texture from the fig, but a little bit of false advertising – we got plain vanilla ice cream and not hokey pokey.

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Although the surrounds were lovely, and the staff were friendly, there were a lot of execution flaws in the food. I also found the children’s menu quite pricey (more expensive that one hatted Glass!) – the kids burger, at $17.50, consisted of a plain meat patty and bun, with some sauce, and a side of chips – what’d you’d pay for a gourmet adult burger with chips elsewhere. So I probably wouldn’t come back for lunch or dinner, but I might give breakfast a whirl given the setting.

Deckhouse, Clarke Road, Woolwich, ph (02) 9817 4394
http://deckhouse.com.au/

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