Bodega 1904 – NYE Dinner

As of the past couple of years, we have booked to go to a nice restaurant on New Year’s Eve, rather than face the multitudes of crowds in Sydney Harbour. We did a little research and found a dinner menu at an amazing price at Bodega 1094, in the Tramsheds facility in Glebe.

img_3264

Tramsheds is a large dining facility in an industrial building, the former Rozelle tram building. One of the numerous restaurants is Bodega, 1904. This restaurant and wine store has been brought to us by the team at Porteno and Bodega.

img_3265

For $65, we received a glass of bubbly and 5 courses including dessert. For an extra $50 we could do the matching wines. The menu is predominately Latin American and Spanish inspired tapas and the menu arranged for New Years was pretty much everything we love to eat. Food is made using fresh produce from local suppliers and prepared in tapas style dishes. On New Year’s Eve, you were aslo able to do Ala Carte.

We received a glass of NV Cruzat Premier Extra Brut champagne on arrival. The staff were kind enough to top us up with another as the previous dining timeslot was still being served. We appreciated this.

The first dish were 2 Sydney rock oysters each with a Yuzu mignonette as well as a Crudo of scallop and finger lime. This went perfectly with the champagne.

img_3272

We very much enjoyed the butterflied wood grilled king prawn and smoky capsicum butter, served with NV Alma Negra Sparkling wine.

img_3273

We then tried a super soft steamed bun, with soft pork belly and a super crispy crackling, served with a tasty flavour of roasted sesame, wombok and salted peanut, served with the 2017 Amalaya Torrontes Riesling.

img_3274

The standout of the dinner was the incredibly delicious. It was the ricotta gnocchi, with zucchini flowers, chervil and a buttery sauce. We could have had a few dishes of this. This dish was paired with 2016 Alpamanta ‘Estate’ Chardonnay.

img_3275

The final main meal was a lovely Hanger steak with kohlrabi, xo. This meat was like a brisket and nice and smokey. Accompanied with a 2015 Tikal ‘Natural’ Malbec Syrah.

img_3277

To end of the meal was a refreshing strawberry granita atop a coconut sorbet. This was lovely. This came with the NV Cumbres Andinas Moscato, a very sweet drink to end on.

img_3278

We very much enjoyed all the food here and look forward to returning, especially for that gnocchi!

We sat at the bar, just beside the little wine store for our dinner, but the restaurant does fit larger groups. The wine menu is predominately Spanish based and the Sommelier can assist you to match your dishes. You can also purchase a bottle or two to take home.

img_3266

Bodega 1904 also does a great lunch menu and brunch on the weekend. We thoroughly recommend a visit, whether it be brunch, lunch or dinner.

Bodega 1904

http://bodega1904.com/

1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge NSW 2037

Bodega 1904 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

678 Korean BBQ Sydney

We love a good BBQ – whether it be in our own backyard with a sausage & a few prawns or at a restaurant, we’ll be there. So, of course we were keen to visit 678 Korean BBQ in the Sydney CBD for a feed.

Attending with a group of foodie pals, we were able to try a range of dishes amongst us, beginning with the ban Chan (appetisers).

The meat cuts arrived ready for us to cook to our liking. There’s oyster blade, beef rib, beef tongue, brisket to name a few.

The wait staff brought out a bucket of hot coals to cook the meat on the grill. We tried a number of beef cuts, and also some pork.

Although it doesn’t require to be on BBQ, the beef tartare was a great dish too, served with an egg yolk and a Korean marinade. We also were served a number of the usual Korean favourites kimchi, omelettes, rice and noodles.

The new menu item, the seafood pancake was also a winner for our dining party.

Other substantials including Bibimbab a Korean classic rice dish served in a heavy stone bowl topped with egg yolk, meat, nori and mixed vegetables. Be sure to get to the end and you will be suprised with the crispy rice at the bottom of the bowl.

678 is great for socialising in a group or an individual booking to enjoy a tasty Korean meal. Another positive, you know the chef will be awesome because it’s you.

Thanks to Danny from Qtix(online restaurant booking system) for the invitation to dine and for the great company during the meal.

We loved the Korean BBQ experience at 678 and thank them for the great food and hospitality.

Level 1, 396 Pitt corner Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW 2000

02 9281 8997

http://678sydney.com.au/sydney-cbd/

678 Korean BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Where to go in Buenos Aires

What an awesome city. It is picturesque, there are plenty of good sites to see, food is amazing and to top it off, it’s not expensive.

IMG_8269

We found it safe to walk around here, people are very friendly, but make sure you know some Spanish! It’s a big city so you can’t walk everywhere, so we used Uber a bit (more convenient than public transport for us).

IMG_8270

Where to stay 

Buenos Aires is about 45 Mins from EZE International airport and we recommend getting an Uber as they work out a lot cheaper than taxis.

In terms of areas to stay, Recoleta and Historico are both good and close to the main points of interest. San Telmo is also good for antiques and galleries. We chose Palermo as its for a younger crowd with lots of bars, restaurants and trendy boutiques. As you head closer to the Libatore av you will find plenty of cheap patisseries too.

There’s so many options of hotels to stay, get online and do you research as to what suits you the most.

Hotel First Palermo

This hotel has a great location in Palermo. We have been going budget and this was a good budget hotel with a pool and lifts! We appreciated the upgrade room – it was a large room with a television, a safe and a heater. Breakfast was also good, included breads, fruit, eggs and even dulce de Leche. The staff were outstanding and made so much effort to help, and organised football tickets for us and offered advice for food etc. But to be honest everything was great except it is incredibly loud on the street side. Mostly partygoers in the early hours of the morning.

IMG_8168

What to do 

Recoleta Cemetery tour

We decided to join the Recoleta cemetery tour with “Buenos Aires Free walks” to learn the stories of the people buried there such as Eva Peron. Our guide Victoria was superb, extremely passionate and knowledgeable and looked after the group well. We learnt lots of interesting information about the cemetery. Although this particular walk wasn’t “free”, $150 pesos is totally worth it.

We heard about stories such as “the girl who died twice”, “till death do us part” and the gravekeeper”. They were very interesting and made it better than simply walking around ourselves. If you do choose to go yourself, entry is free.

IMG_8282

They also have the free city centre tour and free Recoleta tour, as well as $200 peso tours to La Boca.

You can look them upon online at www.buenosairesfreewalks.com

Jardin Japones 

This is a  little Japanese Gardens in the heart of Argentina. Serene and calm. It’s 120 Peso to enter and have a look around.

Shops

We loved Buenos Aires for shopping, whilst there are a few large mainstream plazas, we recommend heading to Palermo Soho for more boutique style shopping, smaller designers, cool clothes and furniture. We enjoyed looking around here. There’s also some discount outlets.

** Tourist refund 

There’s plenty of advertising about getting your tax back on purchases at the airport. It’s a good idea if you can, just be very sure to do the following:

  1. Check that the shop facilitates this (usually a sticker on the shop window)
  2. Check all the labels on that the item is made in Argentina. The airport staff will check.
  3. Have your passport at time of purchase
  4. Ask for the tourist refund scheme form
  5. Have the form and goods to show at the airport before going through departure gates

La Boca

This is a cool place to visit for its colourful houses, street art, street performers (tango) and steakhouses. However people are hesitant because of the area and its perceived danger. Even Buenos Aires locals are wary of the area. BUT follow travel advice and you’ll feel absolutely safe. Yes the outskirts are rough. So, get a cab to Caminito street where the majority of colourful houses, artists and restaurants are. It’s a huge tourist spot and you will be absolutely fine, just don’t take valuables to prevent theft. This area is also home to the famous and successful La Boca Football team. See a match if it’s on (be sure to arrange a tour).

Futball 

When visiting another country, we are always looking at experienes that can be enjoyed that give an insight in to the local area and it’s people. In Argentina there are a few that come to mind, including Gaucho and soccer. They were both a bit pricy to do both and we love sport and had heard good things about going to the soccer in Argentina. We chose to go to the soccer. After reading reviews online, it seemed a little difficult and time consuming to arrange tickets yourself. We spoke to the concierge at our hotel who arranged tickets through an agent. The agent provides transport to and from the game and your entrance tickets. This experience is a little expensive, but worth is to immerse yourself in local culture.

To say the Argentineans are fanatic is an understatement, they are very extraordinarily passionate about this game. As such, it can even be considered a little dangerous to attend. There are measures in place to make attending a game safer, these measures include; home fans only (YES! no rival fans in the stadium), no alcohol is served within the stadium and there is also plenty of security and police to keep things in order. In Buenos Aires, there are two main teams: Boca Juniors and River plate, who have a fierce rivalry and stadiums that accommodate 60000 plus fans. Tickets are members only, with a seven year waitlist for membership. We went to a smaller game between Boca and smaller local team Argentinos Junior. The game was played at Maradonna stadium, which is named after the Argentine soccer legend. He also represented both clubs in his career. The stadium is basic, with cement step seating and no cover with the stadium accommodating 20000.

IMG_8378

The magnitude of how fanatic the supporters are is evident through the stadium set up, no plastic seats, fences with barbed wire separating sections of the crowd. It was a dreary wet night, but that didn’t dampen the spirit of the Argentinos fans, with rythmic drumming and passionate chanting continuous through out the game. The tunes so rythmic it could have been used as tango music, another Argentine tradition. It was an awesome atmosphere, with quality soccer from both sides. Boca was too good on the night, taking the game 1-0. It was also bizarre when Boca scored their goal and there was the sound of crickets, not one applause or cheer. Despite the rain and a Boca win, all fans stayed until the final whistle.

Going to a soccer in Buenos Aires is more than a game it their a passion. It was wonderful to experience the local culture and passion and it is a highly recommended activity.

Other

Some attractions we didn’t have time for but come thoroughly recommended include

  • Teatro Colon – a 7 storey landmark
  • El Zanjon de Granados – to see a tour of their tunnels and cisterns
  • The polo
  • Horse racing
  • Plaza de Mayo
  • Congresso Nacional
  • Plaza Dorrego – the city’s oldest plaza
  • Galerias Pacifico Shops – for shopping and beautiful ceilings
  • A visit inside Casa Rosa (pictured below). Be sure to buy tickets online.

IMG_8367

Where to eat and drink

Vinosfera Wine Gallery 

Lovely little wine gallery offering wine/cheese/chocolate tastings for 600. We had a glass of wine each and received great advice from the staff. He even gave me a complimentary taster. It was an enjoyable visit.

Lab Training Coffee 

Trendy little coffee store with a range of coffee styles and you can get your preferred milk style. No chemex on the day we visited. I personally found the coffee quite strong. Food and cake on sale too. Staff are efficient and nice.

IMG_E8248

Felix Felicis and Co

A small coffee shop selling good milk based coffees as well as cold brew, plus a number of small baked goods. Staff were friendly and the cafe has a cool vibe.

Chori 

Chori is a takeaway style sandwich shop, serving chorizo sausages with various toppings. We tried the chorizo with aji sauce, caramelised onion, yoghurt, spinach and tomato on a fresh roll. It was a good burger. Although we didn’t have them, they have some cheesy vegetable sides too. The shop was pretty busy and they also sell alcohol and soft drinks.

IMG_8343

Pani

We couldn’t go by without a visit here. The desserts are phenomenal. Yes you might consume your daily intake of calories and need a wheelbarrow home, but we’re pretty sure it’s worth it. Amazing cheesecakes and everything dulce de Leche! We tried the dulce de Leche cake with Oreos. It took us two days to eat. Amazing. The cafe is styled in an antique / rustic decor and the staff were lovely.

IMG_8266

La Cabrera 

This is a famous Latin American steak house that is famous for a reason, they do really good steak. We visited both locations in Palermo. Be sure to keep an eye out for their happy hour each evening, which provides 40% off. We also recommend you book as by 8:30 people are lining up outside (but you get free snacks and champagne) so it’s not too bad at all. Don’t expect to leave this place hungry, to say the servings here are huge is an understatement. It is recommended that you share a steak, unless you are survivor hungry. The restaurant has a casual but upmarket feel, suitable for all including the niño (children). The waiters have character, making for an enjoyable experience.

IMG_E8177

IMG_8172

The restaurant provides you with a delicious bread basket, which is very common in Argentina, there is olive oil and basalmic on the table and they provide a meat dipping sauce. We visited a couple of times and it never disappointed. The 850g T-Bone was a massive piece of meat, nicely seasoned and perfectly cooked. Some theatrics included when the waiter busts out the carving knife. The steak had a thick layer of fat, but other than that, it was delicious. The rib eye was superb, also seasoned nicely and perfectly cooked. The steak also came with a large assortment of sides including carrot brûlée, mashed potatoes, ratatouille, mixed salad (with egg, bacon, dressings), mate foam, pickled vegetables, beans and cheese, confit garlic as well as apple sauce and chimichurri. We don’t recommend you need any sides. The wine is also quite nice, the 375ml bottle is perfect for one person. We couldn’t do dessert as we were so full! They also bring out a lollipop tree at the end, which is a nice touch.

Don Julio

Don Julio is an upmarket steakhouse with a classy feel to it. They had the best steak we had in South America, maybe ever. The service was slightly off when we visited, one of the waiters appeared to be sick with the flu and the sommelier wasn’t interested in discussing the wine (she seem more  interested in serving the most expensive wines to the rich people). As with most restaurants, the meal is provided with a nice selection of bread. To start, the grilled provolone was very nice, impossible to go wrong with hot cheese. For our meat dishes, we choose the beef ribs which were a tasty option, but the rib eye was out of this world. We could eat here everyday We really liked the cutlery, especially the steak knives, which are small gaucho knives. You can purchase these knives and they also come with a leather sheath, which makes for a nice souvenir.

IMG_E8313

IMG_E8309

Casa Dulce De Leche 

We also did more research about places to eat which we didn’t get time for so maybe you could consider:

  • Scarlett cakes bakery for their chocolate torta
  • La Mezetta for their super cheesy pizza slices
  • Cafe Tortini – a historically famous cafe known for their Tango Sensation routines with dinner
  • Fabrica de Churros Olleros in the federal district for churros
  • La Panera Rosa – a huge pink cafe known for brunch and desserts

Overview

Buenos Aires has been one of most favourite places to visit and we’re sure you’ll love it too.

Churrasco is perfect for meat lovers

Churrasco Brazilian BBQ has been a staple in Coogee for a number of years, which is a feat in itself and a testament to this restaurant delivering quality food. Brazil is renowned around the world for their barbecuing ability and this is no different at Churrasco. Churrasco uses a few different techniques including a rotisserie over hot coals and a smoker.

                                                IMG_0965

The restaurant itself is a large space perfect for a group or an intimate dining experience. Differing from many restaurants you instantly pass the cooking area as you walk in. Look to the left and you will see the rotisserie in action, and to the right the impressively large smoker. As you head into the dining area, the walls are covered in a collage of Brazilian pictures to set the mood. Then there are the staff members who have a Brazillian back ground, including the chefs and waitresses, helping to make for an authentic Brazilian barbeque experience. 

   IMG_0966                                            

Like most Brazilian BBQ places Churrasco, have a go/stop system, using a token on the table, where one side is green, and the other red. With the quality of the food hitting the table you will keep the green side up until you are bursting at the sides. All of the meat arriving at the table was mouthwatering good.

IMG_0983

Much of the meat was cooked on the rotisserie served straight off the skewers which keeps it tender and juicy including chicken and beef. Although the meat was tasty enough on its own, the dipping sauces enhance the flavour and the green chilli beef was a favourite.

IMG_0998

The pork belly is succulent and the crackling nice and crisp. The beef ribs were prepared in the large smoker and were full of flavour and fell to pieces at the sight of a fork.

There are some non meat dishes including the tasty fried banana fritters, the cheese bread (cheese puffs) chips and a number of salads.

IMG_0973

You will also need you reserve stomach for their desserts including the chocolate fondant and churros. We also hear of a legendary banoffee pie that may make a return and exciting tweaks to the churros.

 IMG_0970

IMG_0968

Churasco’s is truly a carnivores dream, you will be in meat heaven. Well worth the $43 price for all you can eat. The experience is very enjoyable with staff members making you feel welcome and consistently at the table with different food to sample. Perfect for groups or those with a love of meat. Keep an eye out for their lunch menu too, there will be a range of burgers on offer for those in a hurry. Get into Churrasco for your meat fix.

Thank you to Ompty for the invitation to dine.

Churrasco

https://www.churrasco.com.au/

02 9665 6535
IMG_1003

Fire and Brimstone – Low and Slow BBQ in the Hills District

Attention carnivores, for some meat worthy of salivating, check out the newly opened Fire and Brimstone, the Hills’ ONLY barbeque joint, serving authentic low and slow American style barbeque, Buffalo Trace bourbon and craft beer.

IMG_8762

Fire and Brimstone is situated upstairs of the Hillside Tavern Castle Hill. This BBQ joint occupies a large space with plenty of seating, a large bar and enough room to host entertainment – a live band. The large smoker is very impressive, be sure to check it out when you visit.

IMG_8759

You will get your fix of mouthwatering smoky, beef rib, tender brisket and pork belly with food curated by an authentic Pitmaster, Brad Shorten. The meats are served with sides of homestyle Mac and Cheese, slaw, pickles and potato crisps.

IMG_8773

The staff at fire and brimstone are BBQ enthusiasts and are happy to talk all things BBQ. Have a chat and find out what what it takes to produce the quality meat that comes out of the smoker. There is also a great range of craft beer, whisky and plenty of cocktails on offer.

Grab a few beverages from the bar and settle in for a great meal and enjoy the entertainment on offer. A great place to enjoy BBQ foods in a casual setting.

Thanks to Men at Work Communications for the invitation to dine, and to Fire and Brimstone for their hospitality.

Fire and Brimstone in the Hillside Hotel

273 Old Northern Road, Castle Hill, NSW 2154

IMG_8772

Musou Yakiniku – new Japanese BBQ

Musou Yakiniku, is a new Japanese BBQ restaurant located on Pitt Street. This restaurant occupies a large space scattered with fluorescent signs and touch screens for ordering, very reminiscent of restaurants in Japan.

IMG_8807

Japanese BBQ is one of our favourite ways to dine out. We love the ability to order as we wish off the touch screen, and you can do this for a la carte menu or buffet. Everything is uploaded on different tabs to select your meat, sashimi, sides, desserts or drinks.

Make sure you bring your appetite! The $85 buffet is undoubtedly the best value as for two hours, you can order as much food as you please, without wasteage. Dine the buffet menu for 120 minutes, with your last order at 90mins. The food comes out so fast, it’s really only necessary to order on the screen as you need or want it. The only benefit of al a carte is if you’re not super hungry, or there are some even more superior cuts of meat.

IMG_8818

The buffet does have a number of extremely varied and fine cuts or 9+ Wagyu beef, you will have a number of condiments choise from used a dipping sauce to enhance the natural flavour of the meat. Altough the high quality meat on offer needs nothing more added to it.

IMG_8815

We tried the Wagyu beef rib, Wagyu tri tip (our favourite) and the Wagyu outside skirt as well as flap meat. Other meats are also available like chicken, pork rib, duck breast, beef liver, pork loin, pork sausage and more.

IMG_9026

Seafood is also included in the buffet squid, mussel, and scallop. We tried the cooked prawns, which came in their shell. We also ordered some delicious salmon sashimi, but other sashimi options are also available.

Select a couple of fresh and healthy sides to accompany your meat. We selected a mixed vegetable plate, buttered mushrooms and corn and some butter lettuce. Some crispy lotus root chips are also great for snacking.

IMG_8816

There were some amazing side dishes to be selected, including a delicious cold soba salad and the most amazing wagyu tartare with a running yolk atop. Honestly, one of the best we’ve had. Some other options available include porridge, karage, curry, udon (hot and cold), takoyaki and more.

IMG_8839

Their mission is not only to serve quality food, but also provide outstanding service, and that they certainly did. The staff were extremely welcoming, friendly and the food came out almost as fast as we clicked ‘order now’.

IMG_8829

We also got some dessert, included in the buffet price – we tried black sesame ice cream and also the roasted tea ice cream.

IMG_E8846

You will certainly leave extremely satisfied and we thoroughly recommend a visit. A great date night and the bench seat set up makes Musou Yakiniku perfect for a fun group dining experience.

Musou Yakiniku Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Chophouse makes the cut

Please excuse the pun for a title but it was just too apt. The chophouse is situated on Bligh St in the City, down towards Circular Quay. This carniverous dream is surrounded by some pretty serious competition, but holds its own offering excellent service and quality meal choices. This is an upmarket grill is set up in a building that once housed a cinema, it is a large space that would suit any occasion. The interior is layered with nicely set tables, a stylish bar and decorated with butchery antiques such as scales, chopping blocks etc.

The drink menu had many great options including apertifs, cocktails, mocktails, wine, digestif’s. We tried a few cocktails the Tropical Blush – ketel one, Liquor 43, peach bitters, passionfruit, grapefruit, a nice fruity cocktail. The Tokyo mule – tokinoka, gekkeikan sake, yuzu, ginger beer, nori. This one was impressive, great flavours and nicely balanced.

For entrees we tried the charcuterie with amazing cured meats including wagyu bresola, n’duja tradizional, capocolo, served with pickles, mustard fruit and house made lavosh and crutons was the goods.
The figs served with speck/jamon, goats curd and almond another great starter with great flavour combinations.

For sides to accompany our mains the meaty porkbelly and scallop salad, with wombok, corriander, pea shoots, tendrils, soba noodles and a mushroom vinigairette was huge. The decadent creamy mash, so bad but sooo good.

For mains the slow cooked Beef rib in a house made BBQ sauce was butter, melt in your mouth tender. I absolutely loved this and kept wanting more. The wagyu 6+ rump cap was perfectly cooked served with heirloom tomatoes and choice of condiments.

If you still have room or even if not, and if you’re a chocolate fan, the choclate bar made from milk and dark chocolate with hazel nuts and nutella is a must.

Thanks to Zomato for introducing us to the chop house and thank you to the chophouse for their amazing food and hospitality in particular Robyn the manager who was one of the best front of house staff we have had the pleasure of meeting. 

https://www.chophousesydney.com.au/

Chophouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato