Friday, August 29, 2014

Adamo's Pasta: fresh-made pasta goodness

I'm a total pasta fiend and seem to be able to eat endless amounts of it. In fact, I'm thinking about smashing a bowl of orecchiette bolognese as I write this post on Adamo's Pasta in Beaconsfield/Alexandria.

Located on a busy main road in a quasi-industrial area, Adamo's first started out selling a wide range of fresh uncooked pasta. It piqued a lot more interest when the narrow store added a dining area and started selling hot pasta meals to the local workforce that's rather starved of lunch options.

Beetroot gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce from Adamo's Pasta, Botany Road, Beaconsfield
I always tend to go for more exotic pasta options when I'm out, leaving the likes of spaghetti and fusilli for at-home cooking. The generously-sized dish of beetroot gnocchi certainly fit the bill with its ruby-red hue, served with our chosen sauce of gorgonzola and peas, freshened up with plenty of fresh chopped parsley.

There wasn't much beetroot flavour to the pasta, although its appearance compensated somewhat, while the rich gorgonzola sauce with bits of pancetta was a good match to the unique gnocchi.

Porcini mushroom agnoletti with ragu
Filled pasta like agnoletti are always a delight when done well, and these filled with a smooth filling of porcini mushroom certainly were. Perfectly al dente, the pasta parcels were plentiful amid the deep red ragu, with visible bits of soft beef and vegetables enhancing the pasta.

Pumpkin gnocchi with amatriciana sauce
Another option from the exotic gnocchi range was a pumpkin variety that was softer and sweeter than the usual potato version. With our chosen amatriciana sauce of tomato, bacon and chilli, the pumpkin gnocchi was a vividly filling lunch.

It's a shame that there aren't more places like Adamo's in the CBD where a quick, fresh, reasonably priced pasta offering would really be appreciated at lunch, as well as the opportunity to buy fresh pasta, sauces and other related grocery items before the commute home. So for now, I'll have to keep heading to Beaconsfield for fresh-made pasta goodness.

Adamo's Pasta on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dive in to Yurippi at The Cliff Dive

Remember last time you were on an underwater dance floor of a Papuan dancehall and you were peckish? It was probably at Darlinghurst nightclub The Cliff Dive which is now embracing the earlier evening crowd with a food offering in light of the recent lockout laws, introducing a street food concept that's as colourful and quirky as its fish-adorned dance floor.

Underwater themed dance floor at The Cliff Dive, Oxford Square, Darlinghurst
Called Yurippi at The Cliff Dive, it offers a short selection of grilled skewers throughout the evening till late, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights – The Cliff Dive's big nights where punters give the underwater dance floor a steamy workout.

Statue at downstairs entry
The Cliff Dive owners Alex Dowd, Jeremy Blackmore and Russell Martin (the former two who also own Surry Hills tequila and beer barn Tio's Cerveceria) had been looking for a way to improve and expand on The Cliff Dive's late night trade and perhaps pushed along with the new laws, recruited a former high school buddy to up the existing food offering.

The main bar
Yurippi chef 'Honky' threw in his full-time mechanical engineering career to focus on his Crows Nest market stall every third Saturday of the month and his new kitchen digs behind The Cliff Dive bar.

Inspired by his time in Japan visiting yakitori stalls, he's cooking up skewers with a twist to suit the island theme and rum-oriented back bar.

Yurippi kitchen window
With a bit of consultation help from chef friends at Longrain, the menu of five skewers takes cues from Thailand, Malaysia and other south east Asian regions to form an eclectic collection of sweet, sour and spicy flavours, with each skewer treated to its very own sauce.

Yurippi skewers
The Hungry Honky set basically offers the entire menu on a small board: all five skewers plus excellently tart, crunchy house-pickled vegetables and a firm-grained pandan coconut rice served in a bamboo basket.

The lemongrass chicken with peanut satay sauce was an easy favourite, as too the silken chilli tamarind tofu with som tum sauce. 

A whole baby octopus confit-ed in chilli oil and ginger makes for more an adventurous-looking skewer, while the wild ginger beef with caramelised sweet soy and the turmeric lemongrass pork with sweet tamarind sauce round out the offerings.

Royal Bermuda Yacht Club cocktail
The new tiki-influenced cocktail list by bartender Michael 'MC' Chiem (ex Bulletin Place, Sokyo, Black) goes a little further than just Hawaiian resorts, tropical juices and tiki mugs – not to say that there's not plenty of the latter two.

Rooted in the traditions of Trader Vic and original man of tiki bars and drinks, Don the Beachcomber, the cocktail menu is almost exclusively tiki-influenced and is all hand-drawn pictorial fun.

We start with the pretty-as-a-picture Royal Bermuda Yacht Club cocktail, served up with Bacardi 8, Cointreau, lime juice and a house-made falernum syrup that MC calls their "master stock" that goes into many of their signature, tropical-themed drinks.

La Florida cocktail
Next, the Jungle Bird which I'm reliably informed is Malaysia's national cocktail, created at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton Hotel's Aviary Bar in 1978.

A shaken mix of spiced rum, Campari, pineapple and lime juices, the refreshing, cinnamon-scented cocktail is served in half the woven, bamboo basket that Thai sticky rice is generally served in.

Don the Beachbomber's Zombie cocktail
The falernum also appears in the classic Don the Beachcomber's Zombie which is served in a green Easter Island statue-inspired tiki mug lidded with a cinnamon-scented orange slice.

With a mix of Bacardi and Appleton rums, Pernod liqueur and house-made grenadine with notes of cinnamon and star anise, the citrusy concoction really sets the tiki mood and isn't as boozy as some other Zombie's I've had.

Piña colada cocktail served in a pineapple
Last, but by no means least, was the classic Piña Colada served in a hollowed out pineapple with its core intact. With Bacardi 151 rum, coconut, Chinese five spice and a touch of salt to bring out the sweetness of the pineapple, the limited numbers of hollow pineapples per night make this a must-have.

Second bar
Open from 6pm Wednesdays to Saturdays, Yurippi offers a tasty precursor to the usual music and dancing at The Cliff Dive which kicks off at about 11pm and opens till late – just make sure you dive in before you get locked out at 1.30am.

Food, Booze & Shoes dined at The Cliff Dive as a guest.

The Cliff Dive on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rock out or relax at Suzie Q

Posted by Kath

If you're after a place that's slightly off the beaten track of bustling cafes on Crown Street, Surry Hills, then Suzie Q Coffee and Records awaits you a stone's throw away from the main road.

Suzie Q, Hutchinson Street, Surry Hills
Stroll down Hutchinson Lane and you'll be greeted by a cosy little space that was previously a loading dock. While its past may not have been so glamorous, the space has been transformed into a relaxed and inviting place to enjoy some good coffee, delicious food and a rare music record or two.

Entrance area and part of large scale Woodstock photo
Across one wall of this hip little joint is a large-scale photograph of Woodstock which adds to the relaxed vibe and reinforces the owners' love for the classic eras of music.

Family Affair - Roast chicken, Brussels sprouts, carrots, aioli and stuffing
with a side of roast potatoes and gravy
We kicked off brunch with a number that you wouldn't often come across at this time of day called the 'Family Affair', basically a roast chicken dinner in a roll with all the trimmings.

Family Affair - Insides
And they weren't kidding about "all the trimmings" because this was literally a delicious roast chicken dinner loaded into a roll.

The roast chicken was lovely and moist with whole oven-roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots having the right amount of char, while the stuffing was deliciously genius on a sandwich.

Aioli added another element of naughtiness to the meal as if the golden roast potatoes and gravy weren't enough, the separate gravy boat of the latter helpful for slathering liberally over the feast of a sandwich between each bite, .

Baked eggs, with chickpeas, eggplant, peppers & sourdough
A special on the menu was the baked eggs which was a lot healthier than most I've encountered. Accompanied by crispy buttered sourdough, the substantial dish was jam packed with chickpeas, eggplant, peppers and of course, Two gooey-centred baked eggs.

Front counter
So take some time to explore the road less travelled - soak in some classic tunes and enjoy some inventive takes on classic brunch at Suzie Q.

Suzie Q on Urbanspoon

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