Thursday, 26 January 2017

Bodega 1904 - Forest Lodge - Sydney, Australia

Happy Australia Day! For those in Australia, I hope you all had an amazing day celebrating this national day. I'm thankful for being able to live in this beautiful country. We managed to catch the fireworks at our local beach in Cronulla. 

Back to posting about Sydney's local dining scene.

As part of the restoration of the Rozelle Tramway Depot, Tramshed is the new food destination at Harold Park, bringing together a number of famous restaurants and newbie eateries in a European style setting.

The space is open, airy and industrial looking with a warehouse feel. There’s even an unused tramcar on display. 

Bodega 1904 is a joint collaboration between Bodega and Porteno.

They serve a range of Spanish and Latin American inspired tapas which you wouldn’t usually find at a typical restaurant, taking a spin on the classics with a modern interpretation.  The food here is meant for sharing, even the mains. That’s a positive as you get to try more right?

We started with the ‘smoked eggplant, caramelized baby onions and goats milk feta ($14.00)’. Rich, slightly smoky and creamy. This was divine and reminded me very much of the Lebanese baba ganoush. The eggplant was wonderfully smooth to the palate and really tasty. 

The ‘Polish salami and picked chilli ($12.00)’ complemented well with the other tapas dish. The thinly shaved salami was slightly salty with hints of spice from the cracked pepper. Be warned the pickled chilli is hot, very hot. 

The tapas were eaten with fluffy ‘1904 Sourdough Bread ($4.00)’, served with a side of creamy cultured butter which was absolutely delicious we ordered another serving. 

‘Smoked pigs head sausage, crispy potatoes and plum sauce ($24.00)’, is a popular dish on Instagram so we decided to order it. The plump pork sausage was juicy, moist and bursting with flavour. The pureed mash potato was velvety and the fried shreds of potato went well with it, adding a crunch factor.

Usually I’m not too keen on trying lamb when they’re on menus as I find that that the meat is too gamey if not cooked correctly. The ‘roast lamb neck, chickpea, pistachio, preserved lemon and sorrel ($38.00)’ here was pretty amazing.  Perfectly roasted, the meat fell off the bone and melted in the mouth. It was so soft and tender.

The dishes here are simple and homely, made using fresh ingredients but packed with loads of flavour. If you’re a wine enthusiast, they have a boutique wine store in house.  Delicious food with great company is always a winning combination. 

1 Dalgal Way
Forest Lodge NSW 2037

Phone no: 02 8624 3133

Opening Hours
Monday – Thursday: 12pm to 11pm
Friday: 12pm to 12am,
Saturday: 10am to 12am
Sunday: 10am to 10pm


Bodega 1904 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Siji Minfu Restaurant 四季民福 - Dongcheng - Beijing, China

Beijing is a beautiful city. These photos were taken at Beihai Park within the Imperial City. 

Browsing through Wangfujing Snack Street was an interesting experience.

There are all kinds of wonderful and exotic things such as fried bugs, insects and star fish. Anything take your fancy?

You can even buy a packet of pre-packed Peking Duck to take home if your country's custom permits.

A trip to Beijing is not complete until you try at least one Peking Duck and by that I mean the real thing. A short walk from the markets and we arrived at our next dining destination.

Siji Minfu Restaurant is located in Dengshikou and is rated by many as having the best Peking Duck in Beijing. 

It’s busy and crowded with locals, foreigners and tourists. There were people waiting inside and outside. One takes a ticket and then waits for a table.

We expected to wait an hour but time ticked by and it approached two hours, then we lost track of time afterwards. Our hungry bellies were no longer as hungry as we got sick of waiting. But how could one leave after waiting so long already. We were awfully tired from the day tour but one must persevere for good food or so we hoped. 

They have an extensive menu but their specialty is the traditional Peking Duck. The menu is in English and Chinese which makes ordering relatively simple even though the waiters speak minimal English. All items are affordable and won’t break your wallet.

A complimentary serving of ‘Jujubes (Chinese Dates)’ arrives at the table first as an appetizer on a bed of dry ice. The fruit is crunchy and sweet. 

This restaurant offers a half size or full size duck. We opted for the 'Half Size Peking Duck (RMB 108.00)'.

The skin is glossy, thinner and crispier than Quanjude. I much preferred the texture of the duck here as there was no greasy or oily aftertaste. 

The plate of duck is placed on top of a candle heating element so the meat doesn’t go cold.

Paper thin ‘Pancakes (RMB 6.00)’ are steamed in a basket.

There is a variety of ‘Condiments (RMB 5.00)’ on offer such as ginger, garlic paste and sugar. 

The duck is curved table side and then a demonstration is given by the waiter on the technique used to wrap a pancake. 

A light and milky 'Duck Soup' is a nice palate cleaner.

‘Kung Pao Chicken (RMB 39.00)’ was unfortunately disappointing. A Sichuan spicy stir fry dish consisting of chicken, onions and peppercorns.  I found the sauce used overpowering and it just didn't have that wow factor. 

We also ordered a plate of ‘Poached Kai-lan (RMB 36.00)' as we were craving some greens.

While the food was decent and the duck was delicious, we found that the waiting time outweighed this and made the experience not so enjoyable. I recommend going before 6pm to avoid the nasty long waits or be prepared to wait a long time.

32 Dengshikou W St,
Dongcheng Qu
Beijing Shi
China 100006

Phone no: +86 10 6513 5141 

Opening Hours
7 Days a Week
10:30am – 10:30pm