31 January 2012

Alice met Charlie Dessert Factory, Randwick (29 Jan 2012)

51 Perouse Road, Randwick NSW 2031
CLOSED around March 2012

Sweet spot for desserts

It looks like the owners of Bondi Pizza are expanding their dessert empire and hitting The Spot hard with their pizzette desserts, swirls and homemade ice cream. The Alice's Chocolate Fondue ($13.90 single) comes with warm melted Belgian chocolate with fresh bananas, strawberries and marshmallows. All the classic ingredients that go so well with chocolate although Max Brenner includes banana bread and melted dark chocolate as well. The Apple Crumble Oven-Baked Dessert ($9.90)
has nice flavour and a good home-made crumble making it my favourite. It goes so well with the ice cream and is probably small enough to finish by yourself if you're not a sharer. The Banana and Chocolate Oven Baked Dessert ($9.90) comes with fresh bananas, honey ricotta and chocolate hazelnut sauce although comes with powdered chocolate rather than chocolate shavings as seen in the menu picture and only 2 scoops of ice cream rather than three as shown. Unfortunately not as impressive looking as its promotional picture but still very nice.

The Reece's peanut butter swirls ($11.90, 6 pieces with 1 scoop of ice cream) had a chocolatey peanut flavour as hoped although I think an extra scoop of ice cream would have been appreciated to help balance the amount of scrolls. Don't bother getting extra Warm Belgian Chocolate ($2.90) as we did unless you're a chocolate fanatic, I found it rich enough. My Mocha ($3.40 regular) had a nice balance of flavour and came with a small Kit Kat — how cool! It's a nice surprise touch although sometimes they run out so best to ask them in case they do or have forgotten to give you. I'm not sure if other coffees also get them but it would be great if they did. For ice cream lovers check out the display counter. With 12 tempting homemade ice creams and sorbets to choose from you'll be stuck for choice. I had a taste sample of the Lemon Sorbet, Yoghurt Berry, Tiramisu, Passionfruit Sorbet, Chocolate, Hazelnut and Salted Caramel. They were all good so just choose your favourite.

PROS: Homemade ice creams made onsite, Seems reasonably priced for the taste and quality, Something a bit different from your usual desserts, Good location next to all the restaurants as an option for dessert or after a movie at The Ritz
CONS: Service counter area can get a bit squashy when busy, Outside tables are smallish and sometimes slope due to angle of path, Doesn't really seem to be table service and they're finding their feet
MUST TRY: Apple Crumble Oven-Baked Dessert, Ice cream and sorbet, The Mocha just for the Kit Kat alone
BABY ON BOARD: No change table available in the disabled toilet, Too squashed inside for a pram

Where Alice in Wonderland mets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Alice's Chocolate Fondue: Warm melted Belgian chocolate with fresh bananas, strawberries and marshmallows ($13.90 single)

Apple Crumble Oven-Baked Dessert: Apple, cinnamon, raisin, honey ricotta & home-made crumble on a thin pastry base, served with vanilla ice cream ($9.90)

Banana and Chocolate Oven Baked Dessert: Fresh bananas, honey ricotta, chocolate hazelnut sauce on a thin pastry base, served with chocolate shavings and vanilla ice cream ($9.90)

Reece's peanut butter swirls: A light pastry base rolled into a scroll ($11.90, 6 pieces with 1 scoop of ice cream), Warm Belgian Chocolate ($2.90 extra) although not really required

Mocha ($3.40 regular) - comes with a Kit Kat if you're lucky, be sure to ask in case they've run out

12 ice creams and sorbets to choose from — apparently all made onsite

Menu board

Menu slideshow

Awkward trying to fit large wooden boards on a small round table

Would be even better if they add a parent baby change table in the disabled toilet — there's plenty of room to do so against the wall

Inside seating and decor — sort of more a nightclub than a dessert shop

Seating outside although the slanted footpath makes most of the tables unfortunately slant also

View Larger Map
Alice met Charlie Dessert Factory on Urbanspoon

30 January 2012

Noseys Wine Tasting Event at Sol Lounge, Darlinghurst (22 Sept 2011)

239 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

A nose for boutique wines

“Hi, I'm Bas. I select the wines we sell at Noseys. I love all of our wines, but my favourite categories are Rich, Blush and Deep. We believe in being Nosey about where our wines come from, how they were produced, and who produced them. We believe in promoting lesser known varietals.”

Thanks to Daniela Penno from Polkadot PR for inviting me to this very intimate wine tasting event hosted by the online boutique wine retailer Noseys which use a unique categorisation system. The 9 categories of Bubbly, Fresh, Mellow, Rich, Rosy, Blush, Smooth, Deep and Sweet aim to make it much simpler to work out what you might like without getting too swept up into the multitude of wine varieties to choose from. You probably won't find these wines in your general supermarket liquor shops and prices start from around $20 so they seem quite reasonably priced if you're looking for a boutique wine that's different from the mass produced norm. Wines were matched with canapés and the Le Colture Prosecco went well with the Oysters Natural although I love a good oyster on any occasion. Catering was provided by Simmone Logue Fine Food Company and I was a fan of their Cocktail Vietnamese Roll and Cocktail Chocolate Ganache Tart. I found the Narkoojee The Athlestan Merlot 2005 and especially the Patina Mudgee Shiraz 2005 very drinkable which would go nicely with a juicy steak.

PROS: Supports smaller wine growers, Customer feedback is encouraged, If one of the wines gets consistently bad reviews it's out, Intimate PR event, One handed canapés suited holding a glass of wine in the other hand, Easy to navigate website
CONS: Need to order online so you need to plan ahead to purchase
MUST TRY: Remembering Noseys for something a bit more special

Personal wine tasting notes

Intimate event for guests

Noseys 9 wine categories

Grab a glass to start the tasting

Le Colture Prosecco, Valdobbiadene, Italy - apple and earthy; Geoff Weaver Sauvignon Blanc 2010 - fruity

Man O' War Pinot Gris 2010 - honey texture; Patina Chardonnay 2007 - buttery smooth

Krinklewood Francesca Rose 2010 - bio dynamic, low in sulfate; Derwent Estate Pinot Noir 2008 - smooth

Narkoojee The Athlestan Merlot 2005 WORTH TRYING :-) - good nose, not too much tannin; Patina Mudgee Shiraz 2005 WORTH TRYING :-) - nice nose, would go well with steak, little bit of body, easy to drink

919 Classic Muscat - quite strong, distinct, sugary, more porty than Noble One

Oysters Natural with Fresh Lemon

Tartlet of Curried Crab Mayonnaise and Mango Salsa

Roulade of Smoked Salmon with Creme Fraiche & Salmon Pearls

Cocktail Vietnamese Roll - Chicken, Cashew Nut, Coriander & Soy Dipping Sauce

Peking Duck Crepe with Cucumber, Spring Onion & Hoi Sin

Bean Burrito with Mint, Creme Fraiche and Sun Dried Tomato

Cocktail Chocolate Ganache Tart

Bas Hegge and wife

Daniela Penno (Polkadot PR), Shanshan (Food is our Religion), Geoff (Get Big Little Kid)

Bloggers love taking photos

Guests enjoying a tipple

Dionne Taylor (centre) and guests

Hair emergency — flower required

Shanshan (Food is our Religion) and Adeline Er (Through Beauty Eyes) with new found drinking friend

Bas Hegge eating jelly beans while holding nose and then releasing nose to demonstrate how much we rely on smell to taste

Daniela Penne capturing the moments

Goodie Bag of Delamere Vintage Rosé, Tasmania

Love the 3D embossed lettering on the business card

Simmone Logue Fine Food Company catering

Simon Food Favourites Map

View Simon Food Favourites in a larger map Key: BLUE - Location visit and review PINK - Simon Favourites and places offering something special

Small Bars in Sydney map

View Small Bars in Sydney in a larger map