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Baroque, The Rocks

I have heard wonderful things about Baroque Bistro Bar Patisserie which is located in The Rocks. A dear friend from Hong Kong, J, was visiting, so suggested this place. Baroque serves classic French Bistro dishes, desserts and of course they are well-known for the macarons which are made daily in the kitchen.

The chef behind this wonderful restaurant is Peter Robertson, ex Oscillate Wildly and Bilsons. I love the decor, it is a mixture of modern, contemporary and traditional, I love the cooper pans hanging from the ceiling, the cooper lights and the translucent plastic chairs.

We started with fresh baguette which was served in a large red bowl (like a bunch of flowers!) and olive oil. The baguette was fresh, crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Dipped in olive oil it was fantastic!


I couldn’t go past the Joues de bœuf braisées, panais rôti, ail frits, créme de panais à la vanille, Braised cheek of Angus beef, roast parsnip, fried garlic, vanilla parsnip cream ($33).


Oh my…. the cheeks were so tender that it just melted in my mouth. It was a rich and hearty dish, perfect for cold winters day. The vanilla parsnip cream was oh so creamy and sinful and absolutely magnificent. It was exactly what I needed that I day.

J couldn’t go past the special of the day, Fish with crab cream and mash ($33) – silly me have totally forgotten the name!

The fish was cooked to perfection, crispy skin, the fish was moist but yet firm. The crab cream was to die for! It was one of the nicest fish dish I have had. J absolutely loved it and we both still talk and dream about the crab cream, it was just superb!

For dessert, we ordered a couple of macarons (which I didn’t take a photo off!) pistachio and sour cherry – it was nice but still a little too sweet for my liking. I liked the combination of sweet and sour, the sour cherry centre was strong but wonderful. I didn’t have the other, Lychee, J said it had a strong lychee flavour, but she did prefer the pistachio and sour cherry.

It was a wonderful and relaxing lunch, the atmosphere and ambiance fantastic. Service friendly and they had a vast range of wine. Child friendly, we had baby A with us and they were all kind and hospitable.

I heard that each week Baroque makes 8,000 macarons! Unfortunately, I didn’t buy any desserts but no doubt I will be back to buy one of these lovely sinful sweets.


GA’s rating: 7.5 / 10

Baroque Bistro Bar Patisserie

88 George Street, The Rocks

The Rocks, 2000

Ph: +61 2 9241 4811

Baroque | Bistro Bar Patisserie on Urbanspoon

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Quay Restaurant, Sydney

This restaurant requires no introduction. In 2011, it was voted Number 26 on the coveted S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant’s list and named the Best Restaurant in Australasia and I can see why. Located at the end of the Overseas Passenger Terminal at the Rocks, it has one of the best views Sydney has to offer, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

The man behind this wonderful restaurant is Peter Gilmore who has been Executive Chef since August 2001. Peter’s food philosophy ‘is based in the exploration of the texture of food and harmony of flavour’. Peter Gilmore is a genius and his food, well, absolutely outstanding.

I have been to Quay many years ago, before the snow egg became exceedingly popular! I was supposed to take a friend, D for dinner, however, he was sick and could not make it. I didn’t want the reservation to go to waste, so thought I would ask my gym enthusiast friend, S and he said yes! We sat by the window, the view absolutely beautiful – panoramic view of the Harbour Bridge to the Opera House. It was just spectacular.

I had perused the menu closely that day and knew exactly what I wanted. S on the other hand wasn’t sure but I think he picked some pretty good dishes!

Started with complimentary bread, sour dough, it wasn’t warm but it was indeed very fresh and very yummy!

We started with amuse bouche – eel jelly with carrot puree topped with crumbs. Bite size eel jelly, which was refreshingly light with subtle eel flavour. S does not like eel, I told him about the subtleness but he still didn’t want to try it. So no guessing who ate the other one! YUM!

I started with the Sea Pearls, a signature Quay dish which consists of crab, smoked eel, sea scallops and sashimi tuna. WOW! It was just too pretty to eat, each ball was just magnificent and burst with flavours. My favourite was definitely the sea scallops.

I tried to dissect each one, from top left to right, tapioca balls together with mud crab inside and topped with edible foil leave, it was so delicate. The smoked eel with octopus was wonderful the smoked eel was again subtle which I loved. The fresh scallop ball was a favourite of mine. It wasn’t slimy and just melted in my mouth. Lastly, the sashimi tuna with aquaculture caviar – it was all magnificent. The texture and subtleness of each ball was just sublime. It was indeed a great way to start the wonderful meal.

S opted for the smoked eel and egg white pearl, sashimi Hiramasa kingfish, pickled kohibari, octopus, nasturtiums, and white dashi jelly. This was an exquisite dish. The white dashi jelly which was soft and wobbly, the fresh kingfish and the smoked eel and egg white pearl were just wonderful.

First course for me, the native fresh marron, rose salt, organic pink turnips, jamon de bellota cream, oloroso caramel, almonds and society garlic flowers. The marron which was beautifully cooked was deliciously sweet and plump. It was another perfectly balanced dish with wonderful flavours. The organic pink turnips were not a favourite of mine but the combination of flavours were just flawless.

S opted for the gentle braise of southern squid and rock lobster, lettuce hearts, golden tapioca, lobster velvet, button squash and pea flowers. Where do I start? A friend told me to order this, and should probably have listened to her. This dish was beyond amazing! The lobster was fresh, tender and succulent. I was tempted to swap but I really did enjoy the marron. Next time, this won’t be my only visit!

My next dish was one of the best dish I have had and probably the dish of the night for me. Slow braised Berkshire pig jowl, maltose crackling, prunes, cauliflower cream, perfumed with prune kernel oil.

The pork was simply mouth watering, it was incredibly soft and tender. It was beautifully complemented by the sweetness of the maltose crackling (which melted in my mouth) and prunes. The crackle was marvelously good! I really didn’t want this dish to end and wanted more! It was remarkable!

S opted for the wagyu beef poached in an oxtail and more reduction, mole puree, faro and Ezekiel crumbs. The beef was served medium rare coated with Ezekiel crumbs and sat on a pool of mole puree. The beef was incredibly succulent and the flavours really complemented each other but I think my pork was a definite winner.

I knew exactly what I wanted for dessert. I had tried this before and loved it. White nectarine snow egg – EPIC! The meringue ball with caramel wafer shall sat on a mountain of nectarine flavoured ice. I love the ‘crack’ when I tapped the egg. The custard inside was deliciously sweet and gooey and outstanding. I don’t think I even said a word whilst eating this, I just couldn’t stop. It was as good as I had remembered it to be.

S opted for the eight texture chocolate cake featuring amedei chocolate.

The waitress placed the plate in front of S and poured hot chocolate sauce over it, which she said was the eighth texture.

I slowly watched the centre sink.

S cracked the chocolate cake and WOW, no words can describe the brilliance of this dessert. The chocolate was intense and deliciously smooth. It was rich and it was unbelievably good!

It was an incredible dinner, each course was better than the next. The service was impeccable, each staff were very well trained. Atmosphere and location is absolutely perfect, extensive wine list, and the food everything was spectacularly presented and was just to die for. A great dining experience, and am looking forward to coming back shortly! Definitely one of the top 10 restaurants I have dined at in 2011!

GA’s ratings: 9.5 / 10

Quay Restaurant

Circular Quay West

Sydney 2000

The Rocks

Quay on Urbanspoon

A and D’s gorgeous wedding

I love weddings.

A dear friend from work, A, was getting married. I remember the day she got engaged, she was in the US and D proposed on the top of the Empire State Building.  I thought it was SO romantic, reminded me a little of Sleepless in Seattle.

A and D had their ceremony at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Watson’s Bay. The reception was at WatersEdge, Hickson Road, The Rocks.

The ceremony was beautiful. Our Lady Star of the Sea at Watson’s Bay is a gorgeous church. The bride, dressed in Alex Perry, was… STUNNING! She looked fantastic, and as she walked into the church with her father by her side, I couldn’t help but shed a tear! It’s funny how I never cried at my own wedding, but have shed a tear or two at everyone else’s wedding. D, her husband to be at the time, stood at the front of the church, waiting for her beautiful bride to be to enter. It was just beautiful and touching.

Here’s a sneak peak of her wedding dress. I had to ask her if I could ‘borrow’ the photo as it is not mine, and she was more than ok with it. She was absolutely gorgeous. The elegant bridesmaid were dressed in long blue silk dresses. They all looked beautiful, but the bride was just stunning!

They had a butterfly ceremony which is the release of butterflies as husband and wife. You see people release doves or balloons, but butterflies were something different and unique. It really did give it that ‘memorable touch’. Apparently, the release of butterflies carries forth the good news of their love and commitment to each other.

Now, reception: I have been to the WatersEdge for weddings a couple of times now. Situated on Pier one, underneath the Harbour Bridge offering panoramic views of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge and Walsh Bay. I have to admit, it is one awesome view, especially at night. The set out for A and D’s wedding was just perfect, in the centre of the dance floor was the wedding cake, three towers of chocolate cake covered with white icing and blue ribbons and detailing, the live band at one end of the room, and the bridal party table at the other end.

The food was fantastic, alternate servings of entrées, mains and desserts. For entrées it was either pappardelle a la burina with veal, tomato, onion, white wine, herb and parmesan or spicy tomato risotto topped with prawn’s sautéed in garlic and olive oil.

‘The Mother’ had the spicy tomato risotto topped with prawn’s sautéed in garlic and olive oil. The prawns were fresh, and delicious, the risotto, delicious with a hint of spice, and the parmesan cheese was a great compliment.

I had the pappardelle a la burina with veal, tomato, onion, white wine, herb and parmesan. It was creamy but not sickening, it was surprisingly light. Unfortunately I picked out all the veal as I am not a fan, but the mushrooms and tomatoes were great.

For mains, ‘The Mother’ had the roasted saddle of lamb marinated in olive and caper jus with oregano vegetable caponata, potato mash and green beans. Unfortunately I didn’t have any of the lamb (again, I am not a huge fan of lamb) but ‘The Mother’ seemed to have enjoyed it.

I had the roasted rib of beef with béarnaise sauce, glazed potato fondant, tomato and sauted asparagus. This was absolutely delicious! The beef was tender, unfortunately, it wasn’t all tender and succulent. Some parts were a little dry, but the glazed potato fondant made up for it. My only gripe was that there wasn’t enough béarnaise sauce!

For desserts, I had the white chocolate mousse in a dark chocolate tear drop with raspberry puree and grand marnier syrup and oh my, this was unbelievable. The white chocolate mousse was creamy and smooth, the raspberry puree a great compliment. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to finish this as it was rich but it was good!

‘The Mother’ had the meringue with lemon sponge and chocolate cake. I am not a huge fan of meringue so didn’t really enjoy it but the lemon sponge cake was creamy, bouncy and the top was a little jelly like. It was good and ‘The Mother’ seemed to have enjoyed it.

It was a wonderful wedding. We danced to a couple of songs, and caught up with a few colleagues. They had a photo booth, which was a novelty, took funny pics with ‘The Mother’. It was just lovely.

To A and D – congratulations, hope you both have a long and happy life together. Enjoy your honeymoon and A, I will see you when you get back!

WatersEdge

Pier One, 11 Hickson Road

Walsh Bay, Sydney, NSW 2000

Ph: 1300 117 118