Tag Archives: seafood

A snapshot of life @ Black by Ezard: Hello again, a Birthday and Family

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…..

OYSTERS freshly opened yuzu and wakame jelly

Out came a platter of oysters…how could I resist. Fresh and garnished with lemon and a great textural jelly component.

SASHIMI of hiramasa kingfish, sesame custard, edamame puree, chardonnay and shallot dressing

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!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Stress Relief: The Grace Hotel Seafood Buffet

Hello out there!  Sorry for the lack of updates- I’m still alive!!  The past few weeks have been quite hectic to say the least – second year uni has begun and my brain/body was/is still clinging on to the summer holidays for dear life! Full of lab hours and afternoon lectures, blogging time and foodie trips have been limited but I thought I would post a quick review as a break from all the scientific mumbo jumbo on nerves which have been sending me into a head spin.

The first weekend after resuming study had the family booked into ‘The Grace Hotel’s new ‘Seafood Buffet’ as a stress reliever.  What could be better than seafood to take my mind off the troubles of uni haha?! I was ‘slightly’ excited when I heard that the Brasserie would be providing my seafood loving tastebuds with an array of Sydney’s finest produce! After my fun and delicious experiences at The Grace Hotel for their ‘Flavours of…’ food festivals I felt reassured that my stomach would be in good hands!

As per usual the ‘salad station’ did not fail to impress, with a rather wide selection of cold salads, perfect for the awkward ‘it’s autumn but it feels like summer’ weather. My picks would have been the cabbage coleslaw, which was full of crunch and freshness, without being drowned out by a heavy dressing. If you’re looking for something slightly more ‘solid’ for your salads then the ‘Cous Cous with Pumpkin’ would be the way to go!
Oh and you surely won’t walk past this section of the lineage of food without picking up some mighty fine ‘King Prawns’ from a large bucket of ‘heaven’ (well in the eyes of any seafood lover). Combine the simple yet wonderfully fresh prawns with ‘Thousand Island’ sauce and I would have been quite content, but I didn’t want to miss out on the Mussels or Smoked Salmon which were both testament to Sydney’s fantastic seafood and the kitchen’s ability to bring out the best …from the best!

A tasty segue between salads and mains came in the form of a tomato seafood soup which was full of flavour and had me ready to tackle the next course!

When it came to the main course there were numerous options, even for those who want to opt for a non-seafood dish (…..no comment…….are you crazy?? Haha).
Lil’ Bro went for the ‘Roast Lamb’(which was unsurprising) and by his return for a second serving, I can safely say that he thoroughly enjoyed it!

My picks for the mains would be the ‘Steamed Ginger Barramundi with Chilli’ and ‘Pasta’ dish.
Normally, one would expect a steamed fish to be on the ‘no-go-zone’ of the buffet but having tried quite a few fish dishes at the Grace before, I knew that this was a must-try dish. The combination of ginger and chilli created a light yet flavoursome and appetising dish, that held no trace of ‘fishiness’; only the fresh taste of a well cooked, tender fish! Combining my two loves of chilli and fish, I was a happy seafood diner to say the least!

The Pasta is a fantastic option as a ‘break’ from seafood if need be. A few buffet experiences have led me to fear overcooked and lack lustre buffet pasta, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this dish. The creamy pesto and sundried tomato combination made for a simple yet effective ‘carb’ dish – I may have scraped the plate clean…shhh!

I had already spied the vast array of mouth watering desserts as I lined up for the salads! I loved how the desserts were ‘mini’ cakes and thus easy to serve with no messy cutting up involved!! It may have also aided in the process of trying a majority of the options.
In terms of ‘top picks’ for the desserts, I have to say that competition was steep! Each miniature serving of goodness was not too heavy (perfect if you want to sample a few options) but definitely not boring for the tastebuds! In the end I would recommend just choosing your dessert based on your favourite flavours, but my picks would have been the ‘Cheesecake’ and anything ‘Berry’!


Oh and if that’s not enough to satisfy your stomach, the cocktail menu is being developed and updated! I can’t quite remember the names of these creations but the fruitier watermelon option was perfectly refreshing, while the banana and chocolate flavoured option was definitely my kind of cocktail…..mmmm…such a great flavour combination!!

All in all, for $45 pp, The Grace Hotel’s Seafood Buffet is definitely value for money! The food is fresh and the kitchen has brought out the best from Sydney’s fine produce. Yeah yeah, I know there weren’t any oysters (a little heartbreaking) BUT for the price paid, I was perfectly content with my prawns and barramundi! For seafood lovers looking to kick their craving in a comfortable and welcoming environment, make a trip to The Grace Hotel before this introductory promotion ends!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter!!

Ming xx

Happy Chinese New Year!

Hey all!  A BIG Happy Chinese New Year from me :)!  I had a wonderful weekend with my family and some close friends calling in “The Year of the Snake”.  What would be a celebration without the production of hearty meals that bring everyone together around the table.  Although we weren’t able to celebrate this important event with our family in Singapore :(, I think Mumma and I did a pretty good job in replicating the traditional reunion dinner and New Years Day meals.

Before, I present you all with the deliciousness of Chinese New Year I wish to present you with a “Hello It’s Ming” update since a new year calls for new ideas and goals.

Continue reading

Melting Pot of Comfort and Joy: Sussex Street Food Centre

After spending a wonderful afternoon in the city catching up with ‘Wifey’, one of my closest friends, followed by the comedic interruption of Lil’ Bro who came to join in on our ‘chit chat’, it was time to meet Mumma and Pappa for dinner.  Lil’ Bro was abandoning us for dinner to meet up with some friends in the city, so as the remaining three; we went on the hunt for a simple yet tantalising meal.

Sydney’s food scene has really begun to grace the stomachs of its dwellers with an eclectic range of cultural delights.  With the ever growing hype surrounding ‘higher end’ dining and the café scene, it is comforting to know that there are still ‘foodie havens’ which can more than satisfy our cravings for comfort food while providing a myriad of authentic cultural choice

After following one of my favourite blog’s “Street Food”, I began to patronise ‘Sussex Street Food Centre’, which is definitely a melting pot for all things Asian.  All credit goes to this blog for pointing me in the direction of cheap and cheerful meals that are rather successful in picking me up from my ‘I miss hawker food’ and ‘uni stress’ moments. From Thai Boat Noodles to Vietnamese Pho, this South-East Asian food map is almost reminiscent of the typical food centre in Singapore or Malaysia.

It had been on my agenda to try ‘Yummy Thai’s’ Fried Fish, so I quickly directed all my attention to the wafting smells of lemon-grass and ginger as Mumma and Pappa began to survey the premises.  The number of Thai patrons ordering from this stall had me a little excited at the prospect of its authenticity.

Continue reading

Sharing is caring: Graze

As Mama says to me, “Food brings people together!”  Growing up in an Asian household, many memories were formed around the round dining table accompanied by numerous dishes laid out on the ‘lazy-susan’.  Meals have always been a family affair characterised by the sharing of daily tales and dishes.  So, when eating out, I love joints that are able to create this familiar feeling even within the world of fine dining.  Graze, Pyrmont does just that, even within its context of unusual and innovative cuisine of molecular gastronomy!

Ending the first week of university semester two (!!), the meal started off with their famous “Cauliflower Milkshake, Jamon & Cheese Toasty”.  Our waiter very kindly provided four little espresso cups, allowing us to split up the warm, creamy goodness of the milkshake.  I couldn’t resist dipping the oh so crispy toasty into the sea of joy, savouring every mouthful and sip of this unusual entrée!

Continue reading

Spontaneous Celebration: The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay

Sometimes the things we dread the most end up pleasantly surprising us.   An impulsive booking for lunch at Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay spurred by serious fish pie cravings turned out to be the perfect way to celebrate the official end of my first semester at university – a big challenge.  This had been marked by the arduous release of results throughout the week, which definitely turned out better than my stressed out and paranoid self had expected.  Ahhh…the joys of surprises…plus food!

Boathouse is sneakily located at the back of Glebe; tucked away but overlooking a beautiful view of the Anzac Bridge.  The family and I had Mother Nature on our side, providing one of Sydney’s characteristic sunny winter’s days when we made our little dining journey.

I admit that whenever Mama and I see oysters on the menu we cannot help but sneak in an order!  We left our selection of four to the restaurant, known for their oyster expertise!  I’m sure that I was just excited by the elaborate names of the oysters, as I was by tasting them – Clair de Lune, Wonboyn Rock, Label Rouge, Coffin Bay Pacific.

Continue reading