Yellow House Pop Up

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Potts Point. It's a veritable minefield of restaurants, cafés and bars with residents that are so au fait it hurts. Too many times the spontaneity of a night is turned to dust when you are turned away from venue after venue which is retched! So here I'm letting you in on a place that takes bookings (and open for brekkie, lunch and dinner)! Win.

Housed in one of the most recognisable buildings on Macleay St, formerly home of a collective of Aussie artists. Source: Tim Denoon (via FB)

Yellow House Pop Up on Macleay St (close to Macleay St Bistro) is owned and run by a couple of mates Jamie Morgan (chef) & Ben Sutton. The venue is superb to say the least. Unfortunately, I can't elaborate on the true 'pop-up status' of YHPU (it's been open 6 months now) but you'd better get in quick anyway for your own piece of mind ;) Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner it transitions effortlessly from day to night. It's perfect for large groups slash functions too...long table anyone?

I heard about this place through a friend of a friend. It seems like word of mouth is a major player (so here's my contribution, haha). The boys run a pretty tight ship, the front of house are very knowledgable about their menu and wine list which is always a bonus. I'm usually agreeable to a wine recommendation + I wasn't disappointed here. And now to the kitchen:

Wagyu tongue, brown butter yoghurt, enoki mushrooms, red sorrel. This was a great way to start the night, the slithers of tongue were cooked really nicely. You don't think twice about the tongue factor! The crunch from the mushrooms add the perfect textural element

The menu you'll be pleased to hear is very seasonal. The dishes we ordered on the night just cried out AUTUMN + they sounded delicious. After stepping out of our comfort zone with the wagyu tongue we re-entered well trodden territory with gnocchi. Oh yes.

LUSH. Presenting the gnocchi, jerusalem artichoke (!), cavolo nero, peas, parmesan. These gigantic 'European pillows' of gnocchi were heavenly (fluffy ++). The abundance of greens goes really well with the dish to lighten it up. And that artichoke purée - could we have MORE please? :)

Okay so this (photo) didn't turn out exactly as planned. Anywho, the Pièce de Résistance: duck cooked three ways. Sous vide and pan fried breast, confit leg and roasted quince stuffed with wild rice, hazelnut and slow cooked duck neck. This dish was all about the duck, a complete showcase (cooked perfectly mind you)!

A second shot thrown in for good measure, seeing as my camera didn't want to focus! Hah, blame the equipment (that's right). The stuffed quince was parfait, love the filling of hazelnuts & rice too. Source: Yellow House Pop Up (FB)

 DOLCE (total no brainer):

Chocolate delice, banana, honey ice cream and ginger bread. The perfect ending to an enjoyable feed. All the elements work harmoniously together for a dessert that ticks all the boxes. The delice with its moussey texture just melted in the mouth

All the food looks great because it is, simple as that. These boys know what they're doing and they've delivered a neat (often elusive) package of service + seasonal food that packs a punch. The inclusion of lots of ingredients not usually seen on menus was also very welcome (hello, Quince!). A new force on the Sydney food scene to be reckoned with.

Thanks for reading!

Amateur Dramatics

Friday, 12 April 2013

Roll up, roll up!
I'm sharing with you today my visit to Neild Avenue, a Mediterranean style 'taverna' (err, it's anything BUT). One of my many 'locals' in Darlinghurst. This show is brought to you by the team behind Icebergs Dining Room and North Bondi Italian Food - two Sydney stalwarts. Rock. Solid.

Open sesame! Set in a huge space (read: total understatement), you feel like you've just entered a studio backlot, with bar attached! Source: Neild Avenue

The restaurant is massive, to say the least. Spread over a large industrial warehouse space on the ground floor, there is also a private dining room upstairs with room for 16 AND a separate bar. Sheesh kebabs! The design is quite impressive, the restaurant space is punctuated by huge wooden 'canvases' depicting depicting cartoon characters from an imaginary sci-fi epic. It's pretty out there but it looks great! Each table (in designer's black) has a little recess to hold cutlery and condiments. The quilted black leather booth seats are the perfect finishing touch.

This is totally the money shot, the aerial that I would never have been able to take myself! The interior sure has that wow factor. It was very reminiscent of a movie set (having never been on one before but you know what I mean). Source: Neild Avenue 

The pomegranate mojito, (requisite) cocktail goodness!

Drink in hand, the wait staff are dressed white overalls (a bit of a signature of the Maurice Terzini (owner)/Robert Marchetti (chef) restaurants. With a solid knowledge on the menu (so extensive it fills an A3 page) and a jovial attitude, we got a cheeky "Señores, ni hao ma?" early on. The menu has something for everyone, there's a focus on platters of seafood, vibrant salads and swathes of grilled meats. It's a meat lovers paradise and totally geared for sharing down a long table.

Now, down to business:

Salad Quinoa of tomatoes, parsley, fresh/toasted chickpeas, mint dressing. This salad was a surprise highlight. The freshest baby tomatoes (so tiny + cute) and parsley, the texture of chickpea in a slightly acidic dressing - I couldn't get enough of this one. I may just have to attempt this at home!

Spiced Half Roasted Duck (left) and Slow cooked goat chops (right): the duck had a nice and crispy skin but the flesh was rather bland. We were looking for succulent and juicy! The pilaf rice & parsley salad did not really marry the dish well. The goat chops had a nice accompanying mild dressing

Whole Salt Baked Snapper Portofino Style with Lemon oil, ligurian olives and thin cut potatoes. This fish was exceedingly tiny, it was a challenge to share between 6! And it was missing a huge chunk of it when served! This dish was quite unexpectedly salty, yes it was baked in salt but usually the salt doesn't permeate the flesh. It was also a little on the drier side. The mandolined potato slices were a nice touch

Baklava goodness (right) and Goat's Yoghurt (right): the baklava with Persian pistachios looked divine. I always find them a tad sickly sweet, lucky they were so tiny then! The yoghurt was the healthy option/detox, doused in cinnamon. This one had a bit of preserved lemon in there and felt like a bit of a breakfast-dessert - a bressert.

P.S. Those first two options were for wimps. This is what I went for:

To appease the inner child in me: the Prune Sundae! Prune gelato, organic prunes, chocolate sauce, almond Chantilly. The ice cream was just churned and the warm chocolate sauce was TDF (to-die-for)! This was an old fashioned treat with the prunes to make you feel better. This serving size was certainly enough for two, my fellow diners had no hesitations in helping me out!

And there we have it, a massive meal in a massive restaurant. We pretty much rolled out of this place, clutching our food babies. Sad to say, the food here often looked better than it tasted. The salt baked fish that had been recommended to us by said overalled waiter was a bit underwhelming. Top marks for design that is let down by food that falls just short.

Thanks for reading!


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