Butchers Block

Butchers Block-1

butchers block in Wahroonga
this is the back of the cafe which is conveniently located right next to a big carpark

Butchers Block-2

weekends this cafe is super packed and busy for all the lazy brunchers 

...lucky for us we arrive on a late afternoon monday

Butchers Block-3

while it's a monday, and late inthe afternoon, the cafe is still quite full with people enjoying a coffee or having a late lunch

Butchers Block-5

mocha, tutor tales go to (coffee) drink

Butchers Block-6

chai honey latte 
comes with lots of herby leaves and drizzle of honey on the bottom of the cup 

plenty of tea for at least a full refill

Butchers Block-7

the lunches here are HUGE 

the combination of light crispy flakes, a whole sausage sliced into two and a healthy amount of cream and avocado
this is a unique take on the very well known nachos

the use of the crisps instead of the usual corn chip was interesting as they were light and crunchy alternative

Butchers Block-8

caesar salad - the butchers block take 

the use of a whole poached egg
the homemade croutons 
the grilled chicken
the prosciutto
the light but tasty caesar dressing 

for those who get the salad thinking it will be a light alternative for lunch will be in for a shock because this is once massive salad 

...I still finished it because it was amazing

The Butcher's Block on Urbanspoon

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Incinerator

Incinerator-1

Perfect sunny day for brunch at the incinerator

Incinerator-2

as expected, being the Easter weekend, there were lots of families up and early brunching

They also had an Easter egg hunt early in the morning that we just missed out on.

Incinerator-3

open kitchen 
where chefs and waitstaff are hustling and bustling to get the food out

Incinerator-4

this is basically all of the inside, not big but a number of outside tables are also available

Incinerator-5

House smoked salmon, cucumber, horseradish yoghurt with poached eggs

fresh veges, omega 3 oils, calcium, protein, grainy fibrous toast
this dish has all the healthy elements packed into a tasty meal to start the day

Incinerator-6

special of the day 
chorizo bits, beans, poached egg, avocado and garnish of veges and grass accompanied by a long thin toast 

a bit short on the chorizo as it only comes in tiny tiny broken up pieces but it was still a satisfying meal to eat

Incinerator-7

they use grounds coffee i assume

Incinerator-8

assortment of sweets 
I see cakes, tarts that all look yummy but we didn't see these until we already left our table!

...Otherwise I would have had no hesitation to give the lemon tart a taste

Incinerator-9

Incinerator art space
unfortunately was not open at the time were were there

Incinerator-12

The outside of the incinerator cafe,
its unique looking architectural design screams contemporary and modern

Incinerator-14

I was talked into a post brunch exercise walk by tutortales... (which actually ended with us walking all the way from willoughby to Chatswood)

Incinerator-15

oh wells, at least it was a perfectly sunny and nice day with bright blue skies

The Incinerator Cafe on Urbanspoon

Emerson’s, Hunter Valley

Over the Anzac Day long weekend, we went off to the Hunter Valley region just north of the Sydney metro area. It was a bit of an gloomy start with dark clouds looming in the horizon and drizzling rain as we passed through Cessnock and towards the area of Lovedale.

We’d pre-booked our brunch via Dimmi at 10.30am Sunday at:

Emerson’s

Emerson’s is located on the Adina Vineyard, which has a cellar door, spa and accommodation. A Modern Australian restaurant, Emerson’s has a nice contemporary decor with seating inside, at the bar, as well as outside on a porch that overlooks the vineyard and accommodations.

Interior
Interior

Despite the cold weather, we braved the outside. A few other tables were also outside, but ended up moving in because of the cold.

Outside table
Outside table

I have to say, I really like their glasses, which have a tinge of green. And each table features fresh little flowers.

But you can see that grey sky threatening to pour…

Flat white
Flat white $4

D2D orders his usual flat white to warm up the day.

You can view the menu online here. Breakfast ranges from $15-18, and boasts a FIVE egg omelette. The breakfast menu is only available from 8-11am on the weekends.

They also offer degustation and course banquet menus.

Our food arrives!

ESTATE GROWN VEGETABLE FRITTATA WITH BINNORIE LABNA CHEESE
ESTATE GROWN VEGETABLE FRITTATA WITH BINNORIE LABNA CHEESE – $17

This is D2D’s estate grown vegetable frittata ($17), which was a fairly big size (8″ diameter) and came with a piece of sourdough. It was tasty, but a bit too oily for our tastes.

HOUSE COOKED MIX BEAN RAGOUT, CHORIZO SAUSAGE, FRIED EGG & TOASTED BREAD  - $15
HOUSE COOKED MIX BEAN RAGOUT, CHORIZO SAUSAGE, FRIED EGG & TOASTED BREAD – $15

I ordered the bean and chorizo ragout with fried egg and toasted bread. The ragout came in a cute little red pot and it was super rich. I struggled to finish it despite it being a small pot.

Bar seats
Bar seats

Here are the bar seats inside the restaurant. Cool yellow chairs.

Vineyards
Vineyards

I’m not sure if this picture is from the vineyards at Adina Vineyards, as the sky looks rather blue. Maybe it’s at one of the others…

What else is around?

Emerson's on Urbanspoon

Ume Restaurant Surry Hills

Ume-1

Ume Japanese dining 
478 Bourke Street Surry Hills
we tend to like the small little restaurants
and in Surry hills there are plenty

Ume-2

service was great and and the small restaurant provided a friendly atmosphere to dine in

We decided to order a la carte
although most of the dishes we ordered were included in the degustation

the difference was if you order them separate they come in larger servings!

the waitress was even worried for our stomachs that when we wanted to try too many dishes, she prevented us from ordering anymore...

Ume-3

we tried the shochu, a japanese distilled drink thats different to sake because its made differently (source wiki)

The clear water looking one is the Imo - sweet potato 

The other drink is a housemade lemony drink (okay, honestly I forgot what it was. but it looks lemony)

Ume-4

very detailed wallpaper keeping with a traditional Japanese artistic theme

Ume-5

Snapper Carpaccio
very fresh, finely sliced pieces of snapper 
dressed with White Soy, Rice wine vinegar,
Shredded Cucumber, Shiso and Black Sesame

tasty tasty start of the meal

Ume-6

Ama Ebi
Raw Deep Sea Prawns, Prawn Oil, Walnuts, Okahijiki (which is fancy for seaweed from the land)
1 Year Old Preserved Lemon
(wow, 1 year of lemon!), 
Sashikomi Soy

I liked this even more than the snapper

Ume-7

Seared Hokkaido Scallop
Shibanuma Shoyu brown butter, Finger Lime, Dulse

their signature dish
and it was super tasty! 
the brown butter sauce was delightful

Ume-8

Shiki no Salad
 Roasted Heirloom Carrots,
 Fried Brussel Sprouts, Dashi Custard,
 Black Vinegar & Ginger Dressing

brussel sprouts are at the bottom of the vegetable list for us, however in the salad, those sprouts were fried to a crisp that made them interesting to eat (they still carried a heavy brussel sprouty taste)

Ume-9

Tako
 Slow Cooked, Tender WA Octopus
 Koji Potato, Lightly Pickled Cucumber
 Shichimi, Bonito Oil

chucky cut up bits of octopus tentacles! 
not my favourite dish of the night but still 
very well portioned, soft and tasty

Ume-10

Riverina Lamb
 Charred, Soft Lamb Shoulder
 Sesame Miso, Fried Nori
 Shoyu-zuke Heirloom Tomatos

huge portion of lamb shoulder!
I am a meat fan, and this was well cooked tender lamb in a flavoursome miso sauce 

not to mention well presented

Ume-11

finished off with dessert 

Sesame infused Aero Chocolate & Beet Root
 Toasted “Rice-Cream”,
 Beetroot Marshmallow, Merigue

A nice mix of sweet and sour flavours 
with a very interesting rice flavoured ice cream that actually balances everything together


Ume, highly recommended

Ume Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Prime, Sydney CBD

About a few years ago, I experimented with eating as little meat as possible. It was the closest I got to being a vegetarian – basically I only ordered the vegetarian option when eating out, and only ate vegetables at home. However, for social occasions or home cooking where meat was unavoidable (e.g. meat is included in the dish), I still ate meat.

How does this relate to this post?

Meat is the main event at PRIME. I can’t imagine what a vegetarian could find to eat here… maybe just the free bread?

Prime Restaurant

Prime
Prime

The Prime restaurant is very hidden. The address is No 1 Martin Place, which is basically the big old GPO (post office) building on the corner of Martin Place and George Street. The closest train station is either Martin Place or Wynyard. The old GPO is now the lobby of the Westin Hotel and when you enter, there’s two curving stairs going down. This is where you head to find a couple of restaurants, including Prime.

Outside the door, they display a lot of fancy awards. Opening in 1999, the Prime restaurant boasts being the best steak restaurant (voted) for the past 14 years, including a one hat. They offer 18 steaks as well as some seafood, poultry and vegetarian (lol) options.

Here's some of the party of six
Here’s some of the party of six

All the seats are quite nice and plush, with white clothed tables and big wineglasses. Our party of six gets a table in a little enclave built into the wall of this subterranean restaurant. Apparently this wall is heritage listed sandstone. Fancy!

Do you need to dress up? Maybe… but D2D is sporting shorts today.

Mini lamps
Mini lamps

Above our table is a cute row of mini lamps.

 

Free bread
Free bread

MMM….free bread! We get some  complimentary bread for the table, along with pickles and:

Butter x 3
Butter x 3

Three types of butter! From the left, there is wasabi butter, classic butter, and lastly sundried tomato butter.

On a negative note, we asked for more bread because we had extra butter left over. But the waiter never came back with bread and then someone else packed up the bread plates/butter! This was a disappointing and later turned out to be much needed bread, because the steaks took a looong time to come out.

Wine
Wine

Prime also boasts a fine wine list of which can be viewed online. We order a bottle of red.

After a bit of a long wait, the food arrives!

The Food:

You can view their menu online as well, and as you soon realise, it’s very long and somewhat confusing for the unfamiliar steak eater like myself. So I’ll try to translate it so you can walk in looking very meat-smart.

Essentially, there’s three prime meats:

  1. Angus Hereford Yearlings – described as “consistent”, ~$55
  2. Black Angus – more intense and juicier than Angus, $55-$74
  3. Wagyu – considered the highest grade, $87 – $295

Each cow is raised in a different way to produce different results in terms of flavour, marbling etc.

From these three prime meats, you can choose options of fillet, rib eye, sirloin, fillet. Each is described with weight, what it’s been fed (grass/grain, how long) and where it’s been raised. To me, it seems a bit too much information…

And to add even more choice you can decide your potato (puree, gratinee, chips), and sauce (red wine jus, jus corse, bearnaise, various mustards).  Sometimes they give you all four types of mustard…

So what did we end up ordering?

Steak
Steak

BIG steak with yummy sauce and two little cherry tomatoes.

Steak
Steak

D2D’s steak, also with cherry tomatoes and cute stubby chips. You can also add prawns, scallops and spinach for $15, but we decided not to opt for that.

GOOD THING, because these are massive. I guess I’m not used to eating so much meat, because I basically only ate half before I was KOed from eating too much meat. D2D ended up eating his and my half steak (1.5!), which he seemed pretty happy to do…

Overall verdict? If you enjoy good steak, then this is the place to go for a premium steak experience (but you also pay for that premium). Don’t add too many extras or sides, because there’s free bread and trust me, you’ll be too full anyway.

Prime Steak Restaurant on Urbanspoon

lamchop and gdawg in the house!!

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