Friday, February 24, 2012

Good times collective #4

The plan is to make this year a little different from the last; a little more meaningful perhaps. While I work out how this is going to be achieved, the eats and drinks keep rolling in to keep me entertained.

Bloody Mary at Longrain Bar, Hunt Street, Surry Hills
Last year brought change to Longrain in Surry Hills, opening up lunchtime Shortgrain as well as a basement bar that's accessed from Hunt Street, right near the Hollywood Hotel. Bigger and better, the cocktail menu maintains all the Longrain favourites, plus what seems like millions more.

The Bloody Mary is fairly Longrain classic, with a chilli-infused Absolut vodka and Longrain's home-made Thai style Bloody Mary mix featuring more than a few tom yum ingredients. The result is fiery and extremely drinkable.

Cocktails at Longrain Bar
A tamer, girlier drink I ordered (name forgotten) had a chilli garnish and fragrant lemongrass-infused Absolut vodka. Ginger, mint, cucumber and a dash of chilli rounded out the cool cocktail which would have paired nicely with the very tempting bar menu.

Ox tail and pea arancini for Aperitivo at Spiedo, Westfield Sydney
While I've yet to dine properly at Spiedo (it would round out my Westfield Level 6 dining experiences), I've been for 'Aperitivo Hour' a few times, with mixed levels of service on the wine front. I'm a fan of Italian wines and with a good selection by the glass, the nibbles at Spiedo are just the icing on the cake.

One of my favourites has been the ox tail arancini, golden crumbed balls of beautifully rich, ox tail dotted rice atop a pea puree. It's reason enough to get there for Aperitivo.

Smoked salmon quiche, ready for the oven
Inspired by some office catering pre Christmas last year, I set out to make smoked salmon quiche as good as the ones I chased around the office roof terrace. I stumbled upon a fairly easy recipe and in typical style, made it as simple as possible with my limited kitchen skills.

I used a ravioli cutter to press out puff pastry rounds which were put into a mini cupcake pan. I skipped the cream cheese and went with pantry dried dill (which I regret), mixed into the cream and egg mixture with a few strips of smoked salmon per case.

Smoked salmon quiche, ready to eat
The result was cute, mouthful-sized puffy quiche that could have done with 20-times the amount of dill (but then again, I'm a nut for dill) and even the use of shortcrust pastry instead of puff. Nonetheless, it was an easy, stress-free canape in made in a handful of minutes.

Stitch Burrito at Stitch, York Street, Sydney
Late night stuffing-your-face doesn't feel quite so bad when you're not in a fluorescent-lit fast food franchise scoffing burgers and chicken nuggets. It's much better in a dark, underground bar where you can at least feel a little more hidden from public scrutiny.

The pile of curly fries at Stitch is the best greeting one could want after a few drinks (though I'm not sure if they're still on the menu), and the spicy Stitch burrito (also not sure if it's still on the menu) was the perfect thing to wake the under-the-influence tastebuds.

Hand cut potato chunks at Stitch
Definitely still on the menu are the fabulous potato chunks, roasted golden with whole garlic cloves and generously seasoned with rosemary salt. There's nothing much more satisfying than this simple, home comfort of salty carbs.

Chobani Greek Yogurt
(Food, booze and shoes received samples courtesy of Chobani)
Last month I received a generous sampling of a new yoghurt to the NSW market: Chobani Greek style yoghurt (or 'yogurt' as it comes all the way from the US). There are seven flavours available in select Woolworths supermarkets, including strawberry, blueberry, vanilla and peach which are fat free and 98% fat free pineapple, mango and passionfruit flavours (apparently the latter is an Aussie-inspired flavour).

They're a thicker type of yoghurt than I've been accustomed to, with a noticeable tang that's not covered up with helpings of sugar. There also seems to be more real and chunky bits of fruit than other fruit yoghurts, which is a nice change.

Longrain Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Spiedo Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

Stitch on Urbanspoon


Ramen Raff said...

Oxtail in arancini sounds amazing! Been meaning to try spiedo.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That burrito is doing things to me-it's saying eat me and the onion rings too! And I adore oxtail too.

JasmyneTea said...

Yum, I love adventurous cocktails - I'll have to get on over to Longrain! Your mini-quiches are adorable. said...

Love the quiches - so dainty and cute!

Richard Elliot said...

It's sounds like there are some changes to come this year. I hope they all work out for you.

Tina said...

Hi Raff - Yeah, me too for a proper meal. I do love the aperitivo concept though :)

Hi Lorraine - I like how Sydney has completely embraced Mexican food now. Definitely a positive development.

Hi JasmyneTea - Aw, thanks! My first try too :)

Hi Kerin - Yep, and they can go in the mouth in one (big) go!

Hi Richard - Hopefully they do, once I've decided :) That's the hardest part.

Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said...

The oxtail arancini sounds special! Mind you, I'm a sucker for arancini so more than a little biased here =p

And while you work out what direction to take for the year, don't forget to keep up the booze =D

Tina said...

Hi Rita - Haha, you're definitely not the little angel on my shoulder, are you? :D

Annie said...

I've been to Stitch recently. The curly fries are still on the menu (don't know why it's absent on the menu on their webiste). Not sure about the burrito


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