32 Orwell St Potts Point 2011
Phone : 93311889


Mr N had an overnight layover in Sydney on Australia Day Eve, so I took the opportunity to go up to Sydney (which, given the cost of flights these days, I really should do more often) and the chance to take him out for something of a fancy dinner. On short notice, restaurants like Aria and Tetsuya’s were booked out, and to be honest, those gastronomic heights I find a little dizzying, and don’t always enjoy them as much anyway.

Apres is a French restaurant set off the main drag of Darlinghurst Rd in Potts Point/King’s Cross. It’s stylish, and reasonably intimate – though when I visit again, I’ll be sure to try to book one of the booths. The staff were warm and friendly, unobtrusive yet most helpful when it came to wine selection. As good staff should be!

We were presented with an amuse bouche of escargot sauteed in garlic butter (I forgot to take a photo, so here’s a photo of the garlic butter…). I like escargot, but I don’t see what the fuss is about. Oh, and they had a little grit in them. A somewhat iffy start.

For entree, Mr N had the twice-cooked goat’s cheese souffle, which he was very happy with, and which looked appropriately cheesy.

I had the freshly shucked ‘local’ oysters with a red onion (I think? the night became a little hazy later on) vinaigrette, at the maitre’d’s suggestion. They were very fresh, although I think I would have preferred lemon and pepper to the vinaigrette. That’s probably just my taste.

For mains, I had the wagyu rump steak (rare, of course) which was delicious, and cooked to perfection. For $33, I don’t think I’ve ever had a better steak. Ridiculously good value, given it was a massive 300g slab of steer, too!

Mr N had the Poisson du Jour, which was a grilled Atlantic salmon. Again, cooked to perfection.

We had a bottle of French (Kietsfeldt? I can’t remember, which is a shame, because it’s worth revisiting) Pinot Gris which was wonderfully fragrant, that had the slight honeyish taste I love about Pinot Gris, but was not too sweet.

For the quality of the food and the excellent service, we found Apres to be amazingly good value, and I’m sure we’ll be back again next time we’re in Sydney.

Apres on Urbanspoon

Cookbook Challenge – Week 8: Sweet

I’ve jumped on the Cookbook Challenge bandwagon, in an effort to diversify my cooking repertoire, but also partly to force myself to actually use the various cookbooks I have in my collection. I’m usually one who goes to cookbooks for inspiration, as opposed to following recipes. Unfortunately, old habits die hard – this week’s effort was in part improvisation, due in part to a lack of foresight, and in part to the fact I was cooking in someone else’s kitchen!

The theme this week was ‘Sweet’ – which pretty much says ‘Dessert’ to me – so I thought I’d go with an old favourite; Bread and Butter Pudding. I went with Jamie Oliver’s recipe.

Though I did make a few adaptations: I used Burgen Oatbran and Honey bread, I omitted the nutmeg and cinnamon (as they weren’t available to me), I used home-made apricot jam (from @tammois) instead of marmalade to glaze the pudding, and I fudged the quantities a bit to make a 2/3-ish sized one. I was supposed to look like this:

It turned out like this:

Not to shabby, I think! Hearty approvals all around from the tasters, and I discovered a new favourite vanilla ice cream in the process – try the Weis Vanilla Bean. It’s even got the black specks of vanilla in it! Nom.

Karaage Raamen at Toki Japanese Restaurant

88 Grattan St Carlton
Phone: (03) 9347 9748

I’m grudgingly coming to the conclusion that you can’t get good ramen in Melbourne.

My main gripe with the ramen at Toki is that it doesn’t even make any pretense of freshness. Pre-cooked vegetables some what let the team down, even with nicely fried chicken pieces. But then again, the soup was overly salty, and the ramen, while obviously not from an instant packet, lacked the springiness and ‘toothsome’ quality which separates good ramen from the noodle rabble.

All this said, the Chef’s special platter that the couple on the next table were eating looked amazing!

Toki Japanese on Urbanspoon