Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Review: SeaBay Restaurant

I made it to Seabay at 4pm. The staff were busy eating their own dinner in preparation for the dinner rush, but were happy to serve.

Based on a recommendation, I got a half portion of the Spring Rolls. Not the deep fried little things you normally associate with the term; it came with a wheat based wrapping pastry the size of a plate. The spring rolls are HUGE. Vermicilli noodles, wood ear fungus, egg, bean curd pastry sheets (foo jook). Delicious and warm.

I had greedy eyes, so I got "handmade noodle soup with dumplings" as well, which came in a light broth (probably chicken) with a bit of herb stuff and some shredded wombok or Chinese Cabbage. The noodles were nice - al dente, but with a slight raw wheat/flour taste. The dumplings were DELICIOUS, and were a highlight. I think I got five or six of them: a tasty pork and vegie and other flavouring dumpling in a thickish wheat pastry (not as fine as the din tai fung dumpling place in world square). I got a bit sick of the herby and plain broth taste. The chilli was ferociously hot, but also very enjoyable.

On a later date I gave the stirfried handmade noodles with lamb a shot, stir fried green vegetables (shang hai buk choy) and revisited a half serving of the Spring Pancakes.

The stirfried noodles were a little oversalty, and both it and the vegetables had were too oily for my taste. Curses - I think it is the Chinese compunction to try and make foodstuffs look "shiny", glossy, and pretty on the plate. The action of cooking the noodles in the wok seems to have removed the slight raw wheat taste that I had noted before. I wonder what would happen if you cooked the noodles with water as the moistening ingredient, rather than the oil? I suspect everything would end up sticking together.

The vegies had a nice mix of garlic and ginger, and I did enjoy the noodles which came with some more wombok, capsicum, and little bits of lamb, like it was sliced thin for sandwiches or steamboot, and then thrown in.

Whilst I enjoyed the second serving of the Spring Pancakes, it didn't seem as novel or as delicious as the first time that I had sampled them.

I've been twice so far, and have yet to sample their panfried dumplings. Pictures to come!

SeaBay Restaurant

Open till 1030pm, everynight

372 Pitt St SydneyNSW Phone (02) 9267 4855

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Bacco Pasticceria

Bacco Pasticceria got a lovely review in smh's good living. S0 far, I have managed to visit three times. Already the prices have gone up since my first visit, from $5 per cake to $6 per cake.
So first up, I tried the lemon meringue and the strawberry tart, just because they looked so pretty. The lemon meringue was tastebud shrinkly both sweet and sour at the same time. I tried eating one quarter only, but it was hard going. First time round I nibbled only on a strawberry, but I forgot to eat the rest of it before I went away for work.

A fortnight or so later, I tried the baked ricotta tart with carmelised chestnuts, again for the prettiness. The poor slumped thing in the corner of the box is what happens to a lemongrass and wild strawberry concorde when you leave it at office temperature for more than six hours. It has a light graduated pink rose petal on top for decorative garnish, which I ate.
I didn't realise when picking these desserts, how similar they would be.
My favourite here was definitely the concorde, the lemongrass flavour was quite subtle, and the richness of the cream was cut through with the lemongrass and strawberry flavours. The ricotta tart - meh, take it or leave it. The baked ricotta was nice, the chestnuts seemed a bit ordinary, and the whole thing seemed a bit plain.
So for my most recent foray, I got the hazelnut truffle, surrounded by meringue sticks, and the strawberry tart once again. The hazelnut truffle was too sweet! It took me three days to eat one third, and after that I couldn't bear the smell anymore. The hazelnut chocolate mousse contained within was nice, but there was a heart of more meringue sticks.
The strawberry tart has been my favourite so far. Such a simple thing! The strawberries are so moreish and very strawberry flavoured (yet still firm), and the light almost-set custard underneath has the little black specks of vanilla pod seeds. Yummo!

Bacco Pasticceria is on the ground floor of Chifley Plaza, Sydney. M-F 9-5. (02) 9223 9552.