Monday, April 21, 2014

Ash St Cellar, Wynyard

As we get older, I've realised it' becomes harder and harder to fit meet ups into everyone's busy schedules which is always a shame. But that just makes catch ups (when possible) even more special! Miss LB Slaya and I always try to squeeze in time together to do what we enjoy doing best - eating food! We definitely took advantage of Merivale's $33 meal deals through the month of March and early April and that is how we ended up at Ash St Cellar that night.

L to R: 2010 Villa Maria 'Cellar Selection' Pinot Noir, 2012 Villa Maria 'Cellar Selection' Pinot Gris
This particular deal came with wine! $33 gave you a glass of wine and a main course. Wine is definitely a welcome sight after a long day at work :P Red wine, as always, tastes much better after you let it rest for a while to let the flavours develop.

Complimentary bread
Shellfish and chorizo paella
We cooed over how cute the paella was when it arrived - it was the smallest single serving pan! The shellfish gave the paella such a wonderful depth of flavour and finding a piece of chorizo was like finding a little nugget of gold but I was just sad that there wasn't a crispy bottom which is the part I always look forward to most.

Half roast duck, salad of witlof, orange, olives & walnuts
Duck is one of my favourite game meats so I was a tad disappointed that this roast version was quite dry. The rub on the skin gave it a crispiness that really would've gone well together with tender duck meat.

I suppose Ash St's Cellar's specialty wouldn't be their food but their large selections of house wines on offer. Most customers there seemed to be having after works drinks with a few nibbles on the side - that seems like the way to go!

Ash St. Cellar
1 Ash St
Sydney, NSW, 2000

Opening Hours
Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 11:00pm

Ash St. Cellar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Uccello, Wynyard

Sorry for the silence lately, dear readers. From starting my masters and getting used to working at an actual architect firm, I've neglected things on the blogging front! But after finishing one of my assessment presentations and graduating from my bachelor degree, I decided to celebrate in the way I love best. Of course my friends and I were going to eat :P I'm so thankful for Casanova, McMini and Chef Meathead for coming out to my graduation - I know the ceremonies may not be the most fun of things but from the sincere bottom of my heart, I really appreciate your presence!

We headed over to Uccello afterwards for dinner with hungry stomachs to try the newly introduced "First In Best Dressed" menu by head chef, David Lovett, which draws upon his favourite rustic Italian dishes. Who can say no to Italian food? :D

Complimentary bread
The First In Best Dressed is only on weeknights and you must be seated between 6-7pm but it's insanely good value. $45 for two courses or $55 for three. $10 extra for another course? You bet we are all going to pick that option.

Cured meats, soft cheese, sourdough
We started our antipasti with a selection of cured meats, cheese and sourdough - always a winner. The board we were presented with came with both  chorizo, nduja, prosciutto, salami and goats cheese! It was my first time eating nduja and boy was that good.

Raw red prawns, parsley, lemon, olive oil
Casanova wanted a big entree the size of Chef Meathead's cured meats board so you can imagine his disappointment when this serving size came out haha! Normally I'm not a fan of prawn so I was especially apprehensive about raw prawn but this really surprised me! The prawns were so soft and the the flavour and it was just an incredibly delicate dish.

Kingfish crudo, marjoram, pink pepper, lemon
I love how light the cured kingfish was - it's always so refreshing on the palette.

Buffalo mozzarella, peach, San Daniele prosciutto
Oops forgot to take a photo of this one! Luckily one of my friends did :) Since peaches are out of season, they told me that they would replace the fruit with figs which was fine by me. Creaminess from the mozzarella, saltiness form the prosciutto, and sweetness from the figs all make for an example of letting good produce shine on their own.

Char grilled sardines, lemon, chilli, parsley
The flavour they managed to pack into the sardines blew my mind. I loved the saltiness of the dish which really contrasted with the delicate ceviche style dishes earlier. I know you can eat the bones in the sardine but I would've much rathered not as it wasn't entirely soft. But that was a minor dent in what was a pretty damn tasty sardine.

'Risotto Milanese’ saffron and bone marrow risotto
Kicking on to our primi course, how could I resist the classic risotto Milanese? Mixing in the bone marrow added that extra dimension of richness that really tied everything together. There was just a tad graininess left to the rice so if the risotto was cooked just a tiny bit longer, it would've been perfection.

Rigatoni, pork sausage, broccoli, ricotta
The rigatoni was also something I didn't expect to be as good as it was. If all broccoli tasted this good, I would have no qualms eating it on a daily basis! When I took a bite of the broccoli, there was a real hit of basil and we all know how much I love my fresh herbs :D

Pappardelle, wild rabbit, pancetta, rosemary, parmesan
The parppardelle was made much wider than I'm used to but that really doesn't affect anything. Rabbit is only something I've had once before and I can happily say that the game meat was scattered in wonderful tender chunks in a tomato based pasta sauce.

‘Stinco di maiale’ roast pork shin, fennel, bay, potato
I expected the dishes of the second piatti to the be the smallest but I was definitely wrong! The waiter brings this out to me and laughs a little.

"I hope you're hungry!" he says.

My eyes popped out at how large the serving was. It was the entire pork shin! At this stage I was beyond full. But power on for the food! What I absolutely adored was the fennel. It was so soft and was just holding its form together. Just the way I like my fennel cooked! I'm glad the pork was left on the bone - the flavour is always better that way!

Roast blue eye, fennel, orange, olive, strega
When fish is cooked this well, I really want to clap my hands in glee. It was so moist! With a a simple squeeze of lemon atop the fish, it was all thumbs up.

Trippa alla Romana, beef tripe, guanciale, tomato, mint, oregano, pecorino
A lot of people aren't into offal, but for those of you who are - get this dish! There was plenty of awesome sauce left over to be wiped up with the bread on offer :P

Spring lamb shoulder, caponata, pine nuts, mint
Lamb shoulder is such a gorgeous cut of meat because of all the fat on it so it's barely a dish where you go "Oh dear, the meat is far too dry". Tender to the point of falling apart, there was little to fault with how it was cooked. Eaten with the caponata, it really made this dish sing.

I don't think we could have fitted in dessert no matter how hard we tried. Despite it being a Friday night and located next to the Pool Club, it was surprisingly not too loud. But that may have possibly been because it was raining that night :P For only $55, the meal was very good value especially with the large serving sizes. Uccello provided both quality and quantity tonight and left us rolling out the door in a food coma-esque state!

Level 4, 320 George St
Sydney, NSW, 2000

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday: 12:00 – 3:00pm

Monday to Saturday 6:00 – 10:30pm

Uccello on Urbanspoon