Spice Temple Sydney – 08 Feb 2016

It’s Chinese New Year. I hate Chinese food. I’m glad to be home. I needed to find a nice restaurant to book….

Spice Temple. Sure, why not. I can’t even take anything that’s even remotely spicy, but where else would I book on such an occasion?

I couldn’t help but be concerned that I wouldn’t like/couldn’t handle the food there, but it was the most fitting restaurant choice for the occasion. Plus I’d always wondered what was behind those lovely digital silk curtains every time I’d walked out of Rockpool Bar and Grill. Behind the heavy door were some stairs down and down and down… into a lovely space with the standard Rockpool Group reception, bar area, then the main dining room. It was super dark, but there was lighting at each table so you could see the food.

We opted for the Chinese New Year Banquet, categorised by each of the fortunes of the new year. The only one I didn’t manage to take good shots of were the Wealth dishes – cabbage and radish, and Sichuan style pickled cucumbers and shitake. Both pickles were slightly spicy (the cabbage and radish had an extra mound of some super hot stuff that I avoided) and so addictive! Who cares about a slight burning when things taste this good right from the start!

Prosperity – Raw tuna ‘yu sheng’ with spicy orange oil
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Rockpool 1989 – 14 August 2014

Rockpool, a place I’ve wanted to visit since before Rockpool Bar and Grill, but never found the opportunity to until I decided to squeeze it into a two day Sydney visit.  Their new place on Bridge St is super pretty and I love waiters that are suited up and are wearing lapel pins too! I do really regret not having visited sooner, as I would have loved to have seen what it was like back on George St, and I admit I was put off because it served Asian cuisine, but I can confirm it’s actually well worth it and for once, doesn’t taste like my parents’ cooking.

It’s essentially a degustation plus up to three extra courses (2 savoury and 1 sweet) to finish up. Since everything on the menu looked tasty, I went for three courses.

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Rockpool Bar & Grill: David Blackmore’s full blood wagyu burger

There’s a very important debate that goes on in the world: where do you find the best burger?

In Australia, many claim that the David Blackmore full blood wagyu burger is the best. It’s also the most expensive, coming in at $24. After I tried my first one, I definitely agreed. Nothing could beat it. I kept stumbling upon places with burgers. Then I would sample the David Blackmore full blood wagyu burger again to recalibrate myself. Each time, it won. No other burger compares.

However, my opinion matters only to me. The burger’s flavours work so well for me that I haven’t found better since (Mary’s gives it a run for its money though!). Mind you, I don’t look terribly hard, but I try where I can.

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Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney – 07 April 2011

Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney was the next stepping stone in my restaurant adventures. Renowned for its steak and dazzling Riedel glass display, it was time to pay this place a visit. I was a little confused as to how to obtain the famous David Blackmore full blood wagyu burger, and the restaurant isn’t where you go to get it; it’s only available at their bar. They also have one of Australia’s most extensive wine lists, often featuring some sommelier’s choices, which is worth checking out.

A selection of hams including prosciutto, jamon serrano, jamon iberico, which came with a side of pickled vegetables. This was the first time I’d sampled jamon, and they certainly all tasted different, with the iberico tasting sweeter but had a richer flavour.
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