My Sydney Feast ~> Sepia Restaurant & Wine Bar

One of the very first introductions to Japanese fusion cuisine was demonstrated by Tetsuya Wakuda, the surprising combination of the subtle flavours that Japanese cuisine has to offer is very well complemented with French preparation and techniques. Chef Wakuda’s restaurant Tetsuya’s is no doubt still considered as one of Sydney’s, if not Australias most respected institution.

Tetsuya’s cuisine is the classic fundamentals of Japanese Fusion but what can be done to make it more modern and interesting is the use of jellies, gels and foams.  English born chef, Martin Benn first started his career back home in London at The Oak Room under chef Michel Lorrain, before heading off to work under legendary chef, Marco Pierre White. Arriving in Australia in 1996, Benn clocked hours at Dietmar Sawyere’s Forty one including Tetsuya Wakuda’s Tetsuyas. The accolades that Benn has achieved over the years is amazing, with him also being crowned as this year’s chef of the year. However, the talent doesn’t end here with Benn, along with head chef Daniel Puskas, the dishes that are brought out are carefully inspected with techniques and finesse that are visible on the plate.

Being wanting to dine at Sepia restaurant for a very long time does send excitement to my mind, with many choices on the A la carte menu – I reckon the best gamble to go for is the degustation option.

Bread, Salt and a quenelle of Butter
Kingfish in Dashi Butter

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My Sydney Feast ~> Dessert Detour with Jane Strode of Bistrode

I have to say that there are quite a number of great restaurants along the main street of Surry Hills, Crown Street that is. But have any of you foodies realise that there are many more gastronomical places on the other streets of Surry Hills as well? For instance, you can find the hatted Assiette on Albion Street and the famed Longrain restaurant on Commonwealth Street. So, what am I trying to say is, explore the suburb and who knows, you might just surprise yourself on your findings.

Tucked in the corner of Phelps Street and Bourke Street hides a Jewel, opened in 2005 by Jeremy and Jane Strode, they achieved their very first chef hat after two years in the running. Being the Protege of renowned French chefs, Michel Roux and Pierre Koffman, it is no surprise what Jeremy put up is of excellent quality. On the other hand, Jane has hone her pastry skills under renowned chef Lorraine Godsmark, the ex Pastry Chef of the famous Rockpool Restaurant which makes the dessert menu a bit of WOW factor. Husband and wife team describes their cuisine as British-Australian and continues to strive excellence with the opening of their second restaurant – Bistrode CBD.

If you are looking for a place for a sugar-hit, Jane’s divine creation are sure to make you feel guilty yet cheeky after having one of them desserts. Though the dessert list is small, all of the dishes are made to top bottom perfection.

Chocolate Creme Brulee

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My Sydney Feast ~> Lanzafàme Trattoria

John Lanzafame, Chef and owner of Lanzafàme Trattoria is a passionate chef specializing in food he grew up with, honest and traditional Italian cuisine. Ex-Executive chef of Peter Evans of Hugo’s, he does amazingly good pizzas with many awards, one of them being the world pizza champion in New York in 2005.

Lanzafàme Trattoria is small and cozy restaurant located in the quiet suburbs of Woolloomooloo on Crown street. I arrived here for lunch with high expectations knowing John’s reputation as a brilliant and amazing chef.

The lunch menu of $15 for entrees, pasta and pizzas is definitely worth a visit, with not only a few choices available but a wide one to pick from (delicious ones as well) it does make you think twice before ordering.


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My Sydney Feast~> Maggie Beer Products

She is one of Australia’s most respected culinary icons, Maggie beer has produced 6 cookbooks and has her television show ‘The cook and the chef’ which finished airing late last year. She describes the show as a big part of her life and felt bittersweet to wrap the show up. Her style of cooking is described as regional and it respects the region’s produce and the tradition of Barossa Valley. Maggie has her own brand of products which range from pastes, jams, pates, preserves, stocks, sauces through to Icecreams and soups.

I have three favourite products that i would like to introduce and a simple recipe that goes with it, one of which is Maggie’s recipe.

Burnt Fig Jam

This is a favourite from Maggie’s childhood. Her mother always burnt fig jam, not by design but because she always seemed to be distracted at the crucial moment! It was quite an exercise to replicate that very particular flavor in commercial quantities, but we’ve done it and the result is the thickest, fruitiest jam you can buy. We simple reduce the figs with no water at all, then add sugar and cook the lot until ‘burnt’ to perfection before sharpening the jam with a little lemon juice.

Multigrain toast with Maggie’s burnt fig jam, fresh figs and honey. Keep Reading

My Sydney Feast ~> Quay Restaurant

“Any favourite restaurants in Sydney?” I asked. ” If I’m looking for somewhere serious to eat and I’m taking people out for a celebration, probably go to Quay restaurant.” replied Sean Connolly of Astral/Sean’s Kitchen. I am not having a celebration however I am looking for somewhere serious to eat! Sean is an amazing chef and his advices are never wrong when it comes to food. Quay has been awarded three chef hats, restaurant of the year and this year Quay has gone up 19  places on the top 50 world’s best restaurants list making it the top 27th best restaurants in the world from top 46th last year which is a massive achievement I would say. so Congratulations Peter!

Peter Gilmore took control of the kitchens behind Quay since August 2001, with driven passion to provide balance of textures and harmony of flavors in his dishes. Located near the Opera house house in Sydney’s beautiful circular quay, it is the view as well as the food that will delight your dining experience.

I and my friends arrived in Quay for lunch and was quickly seated at a beautiful spot where we could see the opera house, Lucky us! We browsed the menu which took us almost 10 minutes to do so, menu was gorgeous with different variety of choices and mouth-watering selection of desserts!


Yellowfin tuna sashimi with sour cream and tapioca

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My Sydney Feast ~> Buon Ricordo Restaurant

“Italian food was not Italian food back when I arrived in Australia, It was terrible. Garlic bread which was from my region, Well it wasn’t garlic bread at all” explains renowned chef Armando Percuoco. Everyday Italian ingredients were not readily available when Armando arrived in Australia and it was his hard work and contribution that allowed these ingredients to be available nowadays in supermarkets, markets and specialty food stores. His contribution to the Australian food scene is indeed major and I thought why not try his restaurant and thus I’m here. The two hatted restaurant was opened in 1987, located in quiet Paddington here in Sydney which features a two-storey restaurant with elegant and beautiful interior.

I arrived at the restaurant for lunch and was greeted by Gemma who is the manager of the restaurant. Coincidentally, Armando was also there and I was honored to be greeted by the Grand chef himself. I sat down in the restaurant and browsed through the menu and the Degustazione menu (Degustation) caught my eyes. I wondered what to have for my six courses and Armando came and asked if I wanted him to do the honors of choosing the menu. I was delighted and went for it!

Bread, olive oil and condiments

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Sydney Food Event ~> Taste of Sydney 2010

Taste festival started off in the UK and having being popular, the idea was brought to Australia last year. This year, the festival is bigger and better than last year offering more variety of food, produce and chefs. I arrived here in the morning and starting browsing around my favorite restaurants and having the best for my stomach.

First up was Aria Restaurant, Matt Moran’s home from home, I had a chance to try out their entree and their main and it was absolutely gorgeous.

Cured ocean trout with cucumber and radish

The ocean trout was fresh and fab, with a crunch from the radish and cucumber sets this dish up the top.

Slow roasted Moran family lamb roast

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