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Modern Australian

In Dining, Modern Australian on
October 1, 2018

Salt Meats Cheese

Salt Meats Cheese, Circular Quay

Never underestimate a meal that calls itself a feast.

You’d think after all these years of eating, it’s a concept I’d understand by now, but once again we are caught out by the enormity of the feast that is Salt Meats Cheese’s ‘Cheese Feast’. Run every Sunday arvo, the Cheese Feast is a 3 course set menu that involves cheese and pretty much a guarantee that you’ll be rolling out of there. And it’ll only set you back $39.

Salt Meats Cheese, Circular Quay
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In -, Dining, Lunch, Modern Australian on
August 30, 2018

The Butler, Potts Point

The Butler, Potts Point

Blink and you’ll miss it. The Butler’s entrance is as inconspicuous as restaurants get, a tiny green building nestled between two town houses which would easily be mistaken for a residential building. But it’s anything but once you’re inside, a beautifully decked out venue with a panoramic view of the harbour. Just check out their pics on Instagram and you’ll see what I mean.

Whilst the rainy weather when we visit means that the view isn’t the best, its a great venue with a casual vibe. We’re here today with colleagues so we go for the banquet menu, at $60 a head, we get to sample a bit of everything.

The Butler, Potts Point

Petuna ocean trout, lightly cured and smoked, apple, habanero, citrus

Menu items are anything but mainstream, and though some of the ingredients used can be a bit polarising, it is refreshing unique. The ocean trout is light and freshing, lightly cured with a slight kick from the habanero and a touch of freshness from the cubed apple.

The Butler, Potts Point

Hiramasa aguachile, orange, cherry tomato, pasilla infused dashi

Don’t ask me how to pronounce this dish, but the Hiramasa aguachile is a mexican style ceviche. It’s in some ways similar to the ocean trout, with a spike of chilli from the pasilla infused dashi and some citrusy zing from the orange.

The Butler, Potts Point

Salt and sugar baked beets

The baked beets are a sizeable serve, the combination of the sweet beets and coconut cream works well.

The Butler, Potts Point

Chicken empanada

The empanadas are easily the crowd favourite, beautifully golden fried pastries, encasing a tasty filling of Chicken, Kale and salsa verde.

The Butler, Potts Point

Spicy buttermilk chicken slider

The chicken sliders are also a clear winner, crispy buttermilk chicken sandwiched between fluffy burger buns, blue cheese range, sweetcorn slaw and jalapenos.

The Butler, Potts Point

Lamb Barbacoa

For the main event, we have lamb shoulder which is meltingly tender and delicious spiced with adobo, green olives & coriander.

The Butler, Potts Point

Quinoa, pickled red cabbage, cucumber, mint, orange & labneh

The side of quinioa with pickled red cabbage is beautifully coloured and a welcome side to the lamb.

There’s also desserts on their blackboards, at the bar.

The Butler, Potts Point

The chocolate mousse cake is decedent and chocolatey, and we have not trouble mopping up all the chocolate cookie crumbs with the vanilla ice cream either.

The Butler, Potts Point

The panna cotta is super jiggly, and very rich so definitely one for sharing.

The Butler, Potts Point

My favourite has to be the black sesame terrine, although I did wish there was more of a black sesame flavour.

The Butler Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

In Dining, Modern Australian, Restaurant on
July 5, 2018

Lone Star Rib House, Top Ryde

Having spent the first 10 or so years of my life growing up in the west, Lone Star was always known to me as that funky looking house we drove past on the way to the shops. Not that I’d ever set foot in this Texas-inspired restaurant, but I can never forget its unique exterior. So when I realised there was another branch just 10 minutes away from work, I was keen to give it a go.

Lone Star, Top Ryde

Wild West Wind Beer Battered Onion Rings ($7.95)

A quick online search tells me that Lone Star was actually once large chain with 180+ stores in the US, now dwindled down to 4. And although Lone Star has also closed many doors in Australia, it seems to be doing better, with some 8 branches in NSW- including the Blacktown branch that I remember clearly.

Lone Star, Top Ryde

Saucy Biddy ‘Chicken’ Wings ($9.95 for 6)

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In Australia, Dining, Dinner, Modern Australian, Restaurant, Travel on
December 19, 2015

Travel | Broken Hill: The Exchange Restaurant @Royal Exchange Hotel

We’re towards the end of our six weeks in Broken Hill, and we’ve started to develop a routine where we celebrate the end of a week with a fancy dinner.

This week’s fancy dinner takes us to The Exchange Restaurant, located in the Royal Exchange Hotel. We’ve rode past it countless times on our push bikes on our way to Argent Street (the city centre) so we’re a little surprised when the interior is much more fancier than what it seems from the exterior!

It’s easily the fanciest restaurant we’ve been to so far in Broken Hill, with dim lighting, candle lights, a pianist and some cozy couches by a warm fireplace if that’s your preferred method of dining. We stick with the table and chairs, though we do spend some time lounging in front of the fireplace after dinner- it’s awfully comfortable, so try not to fall asleep!

Parmesan Crumbed Oysters (half doz $14)


We’re keen to try the oyster shots, but unfortunately they’ve sold out for the week, so we order the Parmesan crumbed oysters instead. Not quite as exciting as the shots, but they fried beautifully, with a crunchy light batter, and and go well with the accompanying aioli and lemon.

Moroccan Lamb Tagine ($29)

We notice that the Moroccan Lamb Tagine on their menu outside has been renamed to ‘Slow cooked lamb’ on their actual menu, probably to account for the fact that the lamb isn’t actually served in a tagine. Nevertheless, it is a great dish- the lamb is nice and tender and there’s quite a big serve too! I love the sweetness of the apricots and sultanas, which is quite an unusual pairing for me. The only thing I did wish was for there to be vegetables on this dish to balance out the meat.

 
Chicken Royale ($28.50)

The chicken royale, sounds super fancy, as it’s slow poached for four hours and stuffed with prawns and bacon cream cheese. We’re a little surprised that it comes already sliced in half, though we realise it does make for easier eating! The chicken is surprisngly tender, and the stuffing is enjoyable, especially with the garlic dijon sauce (though there aren’t really many prawns in the stuffing!). The sauteed baby carrots and cocktail potatoes are a delicious side too.

 
Honey and Yoghurt Panna Cotta ($10)

And for dessert, the dessert menu isn’t overly exciting so we settle on the honey yoghurt panna cotta which is something different. The spiced honey sauce is a nice touch, and the yoghurt adds a distinctive tartness, though I can’t say I was the biggest fan.

We’re keen on trying those oyster shots so we’re back again the next week to celebrate our last day here in Broken Hill, despite having eaten lightly earlier in the night. There’s not many light options on the menu so we decide to have entrees as our mains instead.

We realise only after dining here that the head chef is John Hart, the son of one of Broken Hill’s most famous painters. The artistic influence shines through on the some of the dishes, especially this slow cooked pork belly, which is much fancier than we’d imagined!

In Australia, Dining, Dinner, Modern Australian, Travel on
August 25, 2015

Travel | Broken Hill: The Palace Hotel

We’ve been told that the Palace Hotel is a restaurant which you must go to when you’re in Broken Hill. Not only is it one of the only two places where it’s legal to play two-up all through the year, but it’s also one of Broken Hill’s most iconic building, where Priscilla was filmed.

It’s also surprisingly busy, as we found out when we rocked up only to be told there’d only be a table available at 8:30. Luckily there’s a bar and pool table to keep us occupied whilst we wait, and if you go to the hotel side of the building, there’s quite impressive artwork to be seen on the walls!

Shoestring Fries with Herbs and Yoghurt (Lge $8.50)

The dining space is rather fancy, with a really unique outback atmosphere from the bush paintings on the wall. Service can be slow when it’s busy, but we’re not in a rush so it’s not an issue for us.


It’s not everyday that we order fries for entrée, but their fries with herbs and yoghurt do sound rather intriguing so we give them a try. It’s certainly a different way to have fries, as the mixed herbs impart an interesting taste to the fries and goes well with the yoghurt. We do wish that there was a little more yoghurt, or that it was served on the side though.

Black Ling Fish ($28.50)

The black ling fish is another curious dish, named so because of the Cajun spice coating on the fish that gives it a rather dark appearance. Although we really enjoy the flavours, it’s rather dry, and the meat not quite as tender as we’d hoped. The side of creamy mash and seasonal veggies (asparagus and brocolini) are great too.

Lamb Rump ($28.50)

We’d originally intended to order a tasty eggplant dish (can’t remember what it actually was) instead of this but it had sold out so after some indecision, we settled on the lamb rump. And we’re glad we did order it because we were quite impressed by the lamb, which was cooked until beautifully tender. The bed of veggies and beans balanced the flavours well, and we love the sweet balsamic glaze which seemed to tie everything together.

Dessert Platter ($13.50)

The dessert platter was the perfect size for the two of us and it meant we didn’t have to choose from the many tempting dessert options on the menu. The pistachio macarons didn’t have much of a pistachio taste and were on the rather sweet side, but we did enjoy them. The lime cheesecake was light and refreshing, which was quite a contrast to the other components. But out favourite was definitely the chocolate mousse in the chocolate cup (with a chocolate spoon too!)- you’ll probably want to share, otherwise it’s chocolate overload!

Because we’re so impressed on our visit, and we had yet to try the eggplant dish, we return the week later for our celebratory end of week dinner. Alas, their whole menu has changed (apparently it does this once every couple of months) and the eggplant is nowhere to be found, nor are a couple of other dishes that we were hoping to try.

Calamari ($11.50)

We’ve noticed quite a few people order calamari in all the restaurants we’ve visited so far in Broken Hill, and were wondering whether it was a Broken Hill thing, so we try the entrée of fried calamari. It’s a gluten free version, with a rice flour coating, so it only has a light crunch which actually works quite well as the calamari is rather soft. Served with onion, lemon and roquette, it does make for quite a satisfying entrée!

Slow Cooked Lamb Shank ($23.50)

There’s not an awful lot that we’re excited about on their new menu, but luckily, there’s also the handwritten specials board, though my short-sightedness meant that it took me a while to figure out what it actually said.

The slow cooked lamb shank is quite tender, and I loved that it was served with a generous amount of veggies. Between the lamb rump from last week and this lamb shank, I’d say I enjoyed the flavours of the lamb rump more though this one was also really enjoyable!

The Palace Pork Belly (28.50)

The dish named after the restaurant- you’d think it’s be amazing, but unfortunately, the pork crackling wasn’t crispy at all and rather chewy actually. The apple and pear chutney is a nice accompaniment, as are the roasted potatoes and seasonal greens, but the pork belly itself was such a disappointment!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pie ($10)

The dessert menu hasn’t changed much, but our waitress recommends a dessert that isn’t on the menu and does an excellent job in describing it in a really tempting way. And when it arrives, it looks every bit as delicious as she made it sound, with delicious chocolate base, peanut cream filling and a generous scatter of caramelised peanuts on top.

Deep Fried Ice Cream ($8)
 

And last but not least, the deep-fried ice cream, which is also recommended by our waitress! It’s two small scoops of vanilla ice cream, deep fried in a crunchy coconut and bread crumb coating with a drizzle of mango puree and cinnamon. It’s quite similar to the version that is served in the restaurant I work at, although the combination of fried ice cream, mango puree and cinnamon is definitely novel.

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