Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Taste of Sydney: Sweets and drinks

Balzac: Bread and Butter Pudding $8

Being a fan of comfort food and an incredible sweet tooth this dish was pure heaven; warm sweet and soft. The custard was caremalised and I suspect they've used a brioche or other similar sweet bread to complete. A simple classic done very well, the perfect wish for any true food lover, this is a real winter's delight. Would order again (and again).

Jonah's at Whale Beach: Vanilla panna cotta with lavender honey and fresh pomegranate $8

I'm not sure this dish was the best idea for a warm outdoor festival. The dessert quickly took a slightly wobbly texture reminiscent of a nude beach on mother's day, eventually my "nipple tip" came off to the delight of those around me on the walk back to my seat. The texture and taste were well worth the giggles. Smooth rich panna cotta heavy with vanilla bean and wild honey. I don't think the pomegranate was needed - it really is the ingredient du jour in Sydney but it certainly didn't detract.

Centennial Parklands Dining: Goat Cheese Marshmallow with strawberries and basil $8

Goat's cheese is one of those items that is very much part of the adult palette. As a child I could never stomach it but as I've gotten older and wiser, and my Lactose intolerance has worsened my appreciation of goats cheese has grown. This soft sweet and very neutral dessert was well matched with the basil gratin and sweet berries.

And of course it wouldn't be my blog if we didn't pause and have a drink or 5....

Longrain: Ping Pong 42 Below Vodka cocktail $12

Freshly shaken 42 Below (pure glacial water New Zealand vodka highly recommended) with fresh passionfruit pulp, lychee and lime

Assiette: Strawberry Bellini with strawberry & cinnamon donut $8

Chandon NV Free with VIP ticket

Aaaah endless sparkling wine, and of a label I quite like, excellent.

For those who don't know the Chandon NV range is the work of the Domaine Chandon vineyards in California, USA and Victoria, AU using French vines imported from the Champagne regions but using the staff, techniques and climate of the newer warmer vinting lands. By using the traditional methods with a new world flair this has really made a shining example for what Australian sparkling can be. For my money I consider this better than Moet & Chandon, but that is potentially fuelled by years of Australian wines giving my palette a distinct bent. At ~$25 a bottle you should definitely give it a try because it's well worth seeing past the label and wondering where the "moet" went. It's a fairly standard Pinot/Chardonnay blend, aged on yeast for 15-18 months. Crisp finish with strong yeast, excellent with rich food.

Beechworth Sparkling Honey and Ginger soft drink 250ml $2.50

This fresh light and sweet all natural soft drink was a treat on a hot day, and even better later that night with a shot of vodka. I don't generally drink non diet drinks but this was too good to pass on. There was also a plain honey variety reminiscent of a sparkling mead and their website notes a honey and lemon version which I am very keen to try.

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