January 31st, 2012

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - Evenings at Sloanes Cafe

The owls are not what they seem. Lurking beneath the respectable veneer of this thirty-year Paddington café stalwart is something subversive for this staid strip. Armed with a modern barbeque in the cosy courtyard garden, the “ridiculously attractive” Stephen Wong (blame my dining companion, and the photo in Citywalker) trots out an unusual and underpriced menu of Asian influenced, modern Australian cuisine.

Stephen’s guided by an owner/restaurateur with thirty years teppanyaki experience; and by golly it shows in tender Double Cooked Beef Ribs ($18.50) and...

...a Melting Moment ($26) of grade 6+ grass fed beef with red wine butter.

Three generously fleshy pieces of Crispy Mario’s Quails ($16.50) fly through our fingers and are stuffed into our salivating mouths.

Our piggery is slowed (slightly) by a Roquefort Salad ($16.50) that rapidly descends into a two-fork treasure hunt for the best creamy blue cheese ever to be tossed into rocket!

Choose the 2009 Steeds Run Shiraz ($58/bottle) as it’s drinking companion over a less than stellar ice-filled Bellini ($13).

After a further collection of savoury pleasures including Queensland Wild Caught King Prawns ($18.50) and a well-cooked Vegetable Plate ($14.50), we entered the home stretch.

Demonstrating considerable culinary confidence, Stephen flirts with burnt flavours in both the evening’s Twin Peaks - a crazy-good salted caramel and roasted peanut Panna Cotta ($12) and a silky Lemon-Lime Tart ($9).

Combine them with February’s ten-dollar-a-dish introductory special, and I’m channelling Josie Packard for a return visit, pronto.

Sloanes Café
312 Oxford Street, Paddington
Ph: (02) 9331 6717

Sloanes Cafe on Urbanspoon
Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - Kam Fook Seafood Restaurant

I was lucky enough to spend Chinese New Year at Kam Fook Seafood Restaurant with a number of my esteemed food writing colleagues.

With thousands of years of culinary history behind them, it should come as no surprise that the Chinese even do surf’n’turf better, as a decadent cold platter of Suckling Pig and Jellyfish ($58/3-4 persons) demonstrated.

That was served before my evening’s real ‘golden egg’, a ten-month old BBQ Goose ($88/whole) cooked in the style of Peking duck. It’s glistening crisp skin gives way to tender, less-gamey flesh.

I eat the liver too, in a lip smacking tango called Beef Cube Stir Fry with Goose Liver ($28.80) so salty it did have me reaching for my 2010 Vasse Felix Chardonnay ($40) more times than was proper.

Aussie-grown goose aces Kam Fook’s Special Roast Chicken ($22.80). Regardless it’s a lovely, moist bird, cooked to perfection in a ‘spaceship oven’, arriving with crisp skin bespeckled by crunchy garlic crisps.

A contrasting course of Snow Crab with Ginger and Shallot ($88/kilo) gives me pause. It’s delicate flesh rivals that of mud crab, with a truly tantalising flavour difference that even has me extracting orange lobes of roe.

General Manager Alan Yeung (a qualified international food judge) explains Chinese culture dictates large restaurants can demand a better market share of good suppliers.

You’ll taste it on the plate here.

Kam Fook Seafood Restaurant
Shop 6010, Level 6, Westfield Shopping Centre, 100 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction
Ph: (02) 9386 9889

Kam Fook on Urbanspoon