29 November 2011

Bondi's Best: Seafood, Fish and Chips, North Bondi (14 Nov 2011)

Shop 1, 39-53 Campbell Parade, North Bondi NSW 2026

Potato scallops a crispy winner

I think if you've got the nerve to name your fish and chip shop 'Bondi's Best' then you're setting yourself up for a fall but they must be doing something right with an impressive 97% liked with 38 reviews on Urbanspoon. With local support taking advantage of the few windows seats available it's certainly a place more set up for take away — especially when you can't use the outside tables after 8 pm due to current council restrictions on some nights. I'm pretty picky when it comes to fish and chips and this place seems to be doing it quite well. Firstly the service remained friendly while taking my order during a busy dinner rush. The Potato scallops ($4.40) were thin and crispy, maybe a little too thin if that's possible but I'd definitely have again. The Salt & Pepper gluten free cuttle fish ($12.90) had a fair chilli kick and was tender although the salad went a bit wilted with the heat so I think if separated would have been better. Beer battered fish, prawns, chips and tartare sauce ($12.90) was cooked well and decently sized. It included two prawns of decent size and were thankfully deveined properly. The Steam greens ($5) were a surprising highlight for me of broccoli, snow peas and beans which had retained their crunch factor. It also helped to counteract all the fat. Bondi's Best is certainly a cut above your average fish and chip shop which seems to know how to cook to please. I think I first read about this place on the Damn Fine Food blog which inspired me to check it out.

PROS: Service was friendly during busy time (hopefully it's always like that), Interesting menu including sushi, Quality produce, Nice thin batter, Prawns were deveined
CONS: A bit more expensive but it's quality, Very limited seating which seems a bit cramped
MUST TRY: Potato scallops, Inside rolls next time
DAMAGE: $37.20 for two

Beer battered fish, prawns, chips & tartare sauce ($12.90), Potato scallops ($4.40)

Potato scallops ($4.40) — crispy, thin, perhaps a little thicker might be good

Beer battered fish


Salt & pepper gluten free cuttle fish with chilli, sundried tomatoes & basil ($12.90) — calamari was tender although salad goes a bit wilted with the heat

Steamed greens ($5) — crispness retained, nice flavour

Water ($2)

Bill $37.20 for two

Menu plus check out their specials board

Fresh fish display

Kitchen and menu board

Opening hours

Toilet pretty clean and available through the side entrance door

26 November 2011

Rochefort Christmas Party celebrated with Maker's Mark Punch and Bambini Canapés, CBD Sydney (25 Nov 2011)

Shop C2, Ground Floor, St james Trust Building
185 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Hitting the Mark with a punch

Thanks to Charlotte Ferrand from Burson-Marsteller for inviting me to the Rochefort Christmas Party celebrated in style with bar style canapés from Bambini Wine Bar and Maker's Mark punch in plentiful supply (recipe below). Arriving as the most underdressed and casual figure in my Columbia 100% polyester camping top, t-shirt, jeans and waterproof GORE-TEX walking shoes I was definitely in need of some gentlemen's tailoring by Shane Rochefort. Nevertheless after a couple of very delicious Maker's Mark punch drinks mixed with ginger beer, orange, spices and port I soon was able to relax and discover the nice looking ties around the small shoulder-rubbing tailor shop. For a moment there I was reminded of Stitch Bar with all the measuring tapes, suits and tailoring mannequins along with a drink in my hand. I never knew this tailor shop existed which apparently has been operating since 2001. Shane seemed to be a very nice down-to-earth chap who mentioned there should be more people wearing fashionable flat caps like his — perhaps he's right?

Enter the bespoke collection of tailor-made clothing

Maker's Mark, Peroni beer and Ginger Beer for the punch

Maker's Mark punch — really good combination of flavours while still being able to appreciate the whisky flavours

Maker's Mark neat — although I've heard it goes well with ginger beer and orange

Grilled Chorizo & Saffron Potatoes ($15) — hearty and flavoursome

Hummus with Candied Orange ($11) — interesting with the candied orange which seems to work

Arancini balls with fish

Salt & Szechuan Pepper Calamari Lime Aioli ($18) — tasty and tender

Marinated grilled prawns — nicely flavoured although weren't fully deveined as I was hoping

Shane Rochefort (centre) sporting a flat cap

Maker's Mark branding ambassador Jared Plummer (centre)

Samuels Sugar & Spice & All Things Nice punch recipe

Guests enjoying the Christmas festivities

I think these are cufflinks but I'm not 100% sure — never had them before. They look like lollies, maybe they are?

Everything a fashionable man could ever need

Rochefort tie — nice colours

Buttons, measuring tapes and Dormeuil

Goodie bag of hip flask and mini bottle of Maker's Mark — NYE here I come!

Next door inside the Bambini Wine Bar — very popular and cosy

Outside Rochefort

I wonder if Matt Preston knows about this place?

Outside St James Trust Building

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