With knowledge of the empty void of my WordPress has come waves of guilt and sadness I guess as a blogger of food I should say I’ve let my WordPress ‘feed’ ‘starve’?? On top of that there must also be an apology and some obligatory explaining for my prolonged absence from the blogging scene.
Once again university charged at me with a number of challenges this semester. Every possible hurdle was presented, including an unexpected 2 day stint overseas! Thus came about the limited time to post and well… engage in any food-filled activities. Sadly and quite embarrassingly I embarked on an ‘eat to live’ rather than ‘live to eat’ mantra!
Now being the end of my first semester of second year I have somehow reached the half way mark in my degree without even realizing – apart from when I looked in the mirror after exams to see dark rings around my eyes! It was a very stressful semester indeed, which ultimately led to a very rushed and crammed study period. Nevertheless, I await my results in complete fear but take comfort in my time to begin renewing and refreshing the life of this blog while I do the same personally over this break.
I do have quite an overflow of photographs scattered between my phone and camera with a few eats that I had while slightly procrastinating and I can safely say that I have found some great places which I returned to numerous times and will continue to visit! Posts to follow!
Time has certainly flown by as this blog has reached its 1 year mark, thus it is rather appropriate to bring it back to life with a Birthday post!
For as long as I can remember, my ‘Godfamily’ has been part of my life and many traditions have formed over the years, one of them being a meal that we share to celebrate my Godfather’s birthday. As cliche as it sounds it honestly feels like it was just yesterday when we were celebrating last year and a familiar feeling of the crisp Sydney winter accompanies it! This year there was a new addition to the family with my Godbrother’s little bundle of joy adding to the headcount as Lil’ Bro, Ip Girl (my godsister who is really just like my little sister J) and I are well and truly journeying away from the ‘children’ label! It is quite scary yet awesome to think that my Godbrother, who I can still remember in his teens has now become a father, my Lil’ Bro is on the verge of finishing high school and Ip Girl who I used to feed in her high chair is about to become a ‘senior’ in high school……wow…
This year we made a trip to Black by Ezard at The Star – another tick on my ‘to try’ list! The atmosphere there was rather special, as the floor to roof glass windows paneled across the restaurant to reveal a wonderful view of Pyrmont and the bright lights being channelled over from the CBD, which contrasted perfectly with the more intimate lighting of the restaurant itself.
Now onto the main attractions of the meal! Funnily enough, all eleven of us ordered roughly the same dishes!
Appetite curbing devices in the form of brioche were presented and oh my they were divine! Perfectly crisp on the outside coupled with sweet cloud like innards. I still daydream about this brioche…mmmmmm…. brioche…..
Out came a platter of oysters…how could I resist. Fresh and garnished with lemon and a great textural jelly component.
The sashimi entrée was absolutely delicious with the wonderful freshness of the king fish really shining. My Godmother ordered hers without any lemon or lime (ah the joys of allergies!), which allowed us to make a comparison in flavours. Mumma and I were in complete agreement that the king fish truly shone without the lime….interesting……
I was rather confused as to what those black crusted spheres were, so I decided they had to be taste tested. The suspects were Bocconcini rolled in what I suspected to be the special Black Salt, which complemented the dish more texturally as to not overpower the sashimi feature. The presentation was superb and such a genius idea!
Papa and my Godfather ordered a fish chowder for his entree, which I didn’t have the chance to try so I infer that it tasted wonderful!!
Mains centered around the signature steaks and a chicken risotto. Being the odd one out, I opted for a seafood dish, the Hapuka…did I just order it for the awesome name of the fish…maybe….
Lil Bro powered through his 400g rib eye accompanied with a delicious berneaise sauce like a champion. I managed to grab a sample and it was truly perfectly cooked. There are no words to describe this simple yet wonderful dish so I urge you to try it if you have the chance!
Mama and I did a little sharing as usual and the chicken risotto came a close second to the steak. The meat was tender and the texture of the ‘grainier than usual’ risotto finished the dish perfectly, not to mention the rich taste of the parmesan cream which brought out the dairy loving devil within me to the dismay of my slight sensitivity to dairy (damn my Asian digestive enzymes!).
Although I am a lover of all things seafood, I was slightly disappointed by the Hapuka. Perhaps I have been spoilt by the wonderful seafood flavours from Golden Century, because I felt that the dish did not quite execute the Asian flare that it was aiming for, resulting in a blandish flavour which could not challenge the other main courses! On a positive note, the dish was definitely fresh and well suited for someone looking for a very light and clean tasting main…but hey you only live once and I wanted some punch in my meal haha!
The mains were accompanied with some friendly side dishes, which I believe deserve a large feature as well!
The mushroom soufflé had been sold to me by my Godbrother and it definitely lived up to expectation! Imagine smooth and creamy innards infused with the wonderful flavours of mushroom encased with a thin layer of crisp and buttery pastry…so sinful yet so magical….
I never really understood why there was such an aversion to brussel sprouts and Black’s take on this side dish was great! The bitter aftertaste that sometimes comes with these baby balls of lettuce was masqueraded with creamy overtones.
Lil’ Bro nose dived into the basket of chips, which were delightful in their own right. One can never really go wrong with a serving of these.
The quiet winner for me were the parnip fritters which were super super sweet and ridiculously soft on the inside while perfectly crisped on the outside.
I guess the health component of the green beans was slightly defeated by the lemon butter sauce but who’s paying attention to that when the taste is so epic? They were delicious but after a few mouthfuls, I was starting to feel the richness take a toll on me!
After a session of photographs with Lil’ Bro and Ip Girl, the three of us ventured into the dessert course with gusto! Both Lil’ Bro and Ip Girl, opted for the ‘Chocolate’.
Only photographs can capture how visually spectacular this dessert was. To call myself a peanut butter fan is an understatement, so on my very full stomach I could not help but steal a spoonful from Lil’ Bro who grudgingly slid the plate over to me. In all honesty, how could the marriage between chocolate and peanut butter ever be an unhappy one? The rich yet not too sickly sweet flavours were perfect for each other and the smooth melted chocolate created the perfect dessert for chocolate lovers!
Again, being the ‘unique’ one, I ordered the ‘Strawberry’. My palate was slightly overloaded from the richness of the mains so something slightly acidic was in order! The shortbread was light and crunchy and the acidity of the strawberry coupled with the dollop of icecream was delightful!! My stomach was undoubtedly satisfied!
So after a very long night of relaxation and chatting and more chatting and more photograph taking and more shenanigans the evening came to an end. They do say great company makes for a great dining experience no matter the quality of food (and I completely agree!!), but I think as a foodie I may be obligated to provide some sort of foodie opinion on the restaurant.
Overall, the food at Black was of great quality, albeit the higher spectrum price tag. I felt (and perhaps this was the Asian tastebuds) very very full at the end of the meal and that the flavours were slightly too rich when taking into account all the side dishes and mains that we ordered, but then again, a different combination of ordering may/would have yielded differently. Nevertheless, a fantastic dining experience and I would love to re-visit for a steak dinner!
Happy Birthday to my wonderful Godfather!! It was truly a great evening spent with individuals who have been such a significant part of my life.
To any mysterious readers out there, I apologise again for my absence. More stories and foodie adventures are to come!