Friday, August 29, 2014

Cafe Birkenhead, Birkehead Point

It has been a while, dear readers! I have found life is really catching up to me and things have been non-stop busy, busy, busy. In between the midst of working, uni and just trying to get things sorted in general, I managed to catch up with one of my good friends from my old work place I haven't seen for a while. Our weekly chats have been missed sorely! And what better way than to catch up over lunch with a great view and then some shopping?

L to R: energy booster, $6.50 / strawberry daze, $9.00
We started off with some beautifully girly drinks. Are you all digging the lovely hues of pink? We certainly were much too enamoured by the prettiness of it all. The energy booster sounded super fresh with watermelon and mint and tasted exactly so. A question I now pose to you is: when is it not time for a cocktail? When the mocktails sound enticingly zingy of course! Fresh strawberries muddled with lime juice and soda water? Yes, please.

Duck sausage risotto, $22.95
Yep, you guessed it. My eyes zoned in on the truffle oil (and mushrooms!) and I just absolutely had to get this. Whilst lacking in that punch of truffle I was looking for, the flavour of the duck sausage made up for it. Normally I do love my risottos a touch creamy, but this was definitely a bit on the heavy side for me.

Salmon fillet, $29.95
The salmon was the pick of the two, cooked to a beautiful medium rare as ordered. It really didn't need anything extra other than the salt and pepper it was seasoned with. Quinoa is a grain that does do much better with extra sauces and herbs, so it could've been doused lightly with some kind of dressing, but the asparagus, corn, tomato and feta were a welcome addition to the overall dish.

Perhaps I will forgo food next time and instead go for a cup of coffee (or mocktail!) to kick back with in the arvo after shopping gets tiring. And it normally does! Will have to give the coffee a go next time :)

Cafe Birkenhead
46 Roseby St  
Drummoyne, NSW, 2047
Crystal Noir and friend dined at Cafe Birkenhead courtesy of Carly Lund. Opinions however, are entirely her own.

Cafe Birkenhead on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Cliff Dive, Darlinghurst

The entrance
If there's one thing I haven't quite seemed to have the time for lately is kicking back for some nice relaxing drinks. Hipster bars are all what Sydney is about and I love finding these hidden gems scattered throughout the city. It's kind of like going on a crazy little treasure hunt trying to find the entrances to these bars. The Cliff Dive bar was not easy to find! The only sign that there is a bar is the bouncer standing outside this door with a giant pineapple on it. When I say giant, I mean huuuge. Look for the giant pineapple pictured above!

Going down the stairs, we were greeted with a giant sculpture, hinting of the things to come. The deco was incredibly inspired by that of Papua New Guinea and Timor.

Prawn crackers
 An insanely cute bowl of colourful prawn crackers were placed before us once we were seated and began pursuing the drinks menu (because who doesn't drink on a Thursday night?).

Pimento and Falernum
Michael (ex Sokyo, Black by Ezard and Bulletin Place), the drinks director, was super helpful and gave us heaps of info about the different cocktails they had on their menu and also about how they make them. They have two housemade bases that they use in all their drinks just to make their drinks that little bit more special. The first being Pimento - an overproof rum with a dash of black rum infused with allspice berries. Falernum is the second one and is also overproof rum based except this one has notes of almonds, clove and ginger - all of which you can taste just sipping on the little shot.

Luau Especial, $17.00
The Luau Especial was quite strong of tequila and everything else if you don't mind your drinks that way. The orange bitters, rhubarb, star anise and lime made this drink quite the refreshing one.

Pina colada, $21.00
Me being me, I definitely could not go past the pina colada. It said it was served in a pineapple! The Cliff Dive Bar only cores out a certain number of pineapples every day for the pina coladas so the servings are limited. Coconut juice is also a necessary ingredient for this coconut and young coconuts are also cracked fresh every day to obtain the juice. Michael whisked this up with ice to make it nice and frothy so it tasted almost creamy despite the fact that zero cream was used. I was definitely blown away at the first sip of this pina colada. My favourite rendition of pina colada to date. Especially with that lovely spicy undertone from their housemade bases!

The Hungry Honky, $16.00
Throughout our cocktail sipping, the aromas from the kitchen were wafting over to the bar and the skewer platter looked pretty damned amazing when it hit the table. You could really taste the South East Asian influence behind these skewers: wild ginger beef, turmeric and lemongrass pork, lemongrass chicken , chill and ginger octopus and chilli and tamarind tofu. My favourite one had to be the confit octopus. It was so tender and soft and the chilli and ginger really made it super delicious. House-made pickled vegetables were the perfect balance of sour and sweet to team up with the skewers. The pandan coconut rice was also something special all on its own - so fragrant it was almost dessert-like. Yum.

The fun and friendly Michael Chiem!
It was a lovely night kicking back to celebrate the end of my uni week and it was wonderful chatting to the boys of The Cliff Dive Bar. Thanks for a super fun night!

Crystal Noir dined as a guest of Yurripi at The Cliff Dive thanks to Olivia Dowd of HK Strategies. Opinions however, are entirely her own.

The Cliff Dive
16-18 Oxford Square, Oxford St
Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010

Opening Hours
Wednesday - Saturday: 6:00pm - 3:00am

The Cliff Dive on Urbanspoon