Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Alysha's Birthday at The Winery

Howdy everyone! Hope you're all doing well!

Finally college and work etc has calmed down and I can get back in focus with blogging and everything else! :D

Had dinner at The Winery in Surry Hills with a couple of friends on Saturday 15th November 2014 for a friend's birthday and had an awesome fun night.

As much as I love my food, I actually don't know much about restaurants and ratings etc. All I know is that if it taste good combining with the right flavors and textures then it's all good. haha
So when my cousin suggested The Winery, I really didn't have much knowledge of it besides the fact alot of people go there soo... it must be good? hahaha But anyway our group of friends and I trust my cousin's taste (well at least 99% of the time) so she made a booking for this date to celebrate a birthday for our friend Alysha for her 24th. (Finally you're my age) LOL

The restaurant was located in the hearts of Surry Hills situated at the back of a close that had other restaurants, cafes and bars around. Very vintage and rustic looking with a two level indoor dining area and an outdoor dining area as well surrounded by plans and sculptures. As the name suggested, the restaurant definitely did have the winery appeal with its use of polished dark wood/timber. Very rustic just the way I like it.

Actually to be honest I just really like being in the Surry Hills-Paddington area. I rarely go to this area and it definitely reminded me of Melbourne after my recent trip there for PAX 2014. All the fashion and food~ such hipster <3. hahaha! So I do hope to go out in this area more :D

Anyway got side tracked there - apparently my cousin tried to book a table for us indoors upstairs however it was already booked out and occupied by a wedding which we did get to see the groom and the bride and everyone walking in. Which was great because everyone clapped and cheered them on as congrats :D

MOVING ON- FOOD. Not gonna be too critical, well nothing really to criticise since it everything was yummy hahaha.

We all ordered drinks to start off- I ordered the Pound for Pound cocktail which had Tanqueray Gin, earl grey, almond, lemon, and peach bitters. In all honesty it just tasted like a Mojito with more of a zest since the lemon and peach bitters really took over more and couldn't really taste the hints of the earl grey or almond. Overall a really satisfying quenching cocktail to start off. However starting before our meal came was kinda a bad idea since we kinda went hyper already all giggly LOL! 

So we all shared an appetizer and ordered two servings of their sausage roll consisting of veal and chorizo served with a fresh salsa as the tomato sauce.
Was really a good start as it is definitely not your typical sausage roll. The perfect amount of pastry that's light and puffed with a light crisp that holds together a generous filling. The part I liked most would probably be the slightly chunky sauce or the salsa. It has a perfect balance of sweetness to tartness that doesn't taste like your typical tomato sauce. Pairing the sauce with the sausage roll = simply delicious.

For mains - everyone ordered something different. I originally wanted the clam pasta which sounded really good BUT our really nice waiter told us about some specials and so I opted for the pasta special consisting of asparagus, creme fraiche, fresh caviar and fresh salmon. Sounds really good doesn't it especially the salmon part hahaha! I actually thought fresh salmon as in raw salmon pieces was gonna be in it but it was cooked- either way , YUMMMM.

We did order sides as well for the rest of us to share - a garden salad that was lightly tossed with sherry vinegar and a potato bake. The salad was probably the slight let down for me as it was slightly over seasoned with salt so it was on the saltier side but that could be just me since my palate is definitely on the sweet side. However the potato bake was just yum! It wasn't your typical chunk or thick slices of potato stacked or tossed with cheese sprinkled on top and then baked. It was more like a ratatouille with thinly sliced potatoes stacked on each other and then topped with cheese. Omg yknow what - it was like a potato stack. yeah LOL! That's what it was like - a potato stack that's bigger and stacked in a small square formation. Unfortunate I didn't take pics of this as it came out while we were all eating.

After yummy mains - we were quite indecisive for dessert tossing between whether to dine in and eat dessert OR to walk abit to our favorite gelato place - Messina's. Eventually the birthday girl made a decision which we were all pretty glad she did because even my cousin never had dessert there and we were all just blown away at how good it was.
There were three desserts to choose from which we decided to order one of each to share amongst 4 people. It was very nice to our waiter to allow us to get an extra scoop of ice cream so that we each get our own scoop of ice cream :D.
First dessert that came out was a hot chocolate walnut brownie with salted caramel ice cream and almond praline. It was sooo nice of the winery or our waiter to have this on the house as he found out we were dining here for the first time and for Alysha's birthday so they brought it out with a sparkler on it like a birthday cake. YAAAY ^_^)/
By far the best chocolate walnut brownie I ever had that even the home ones I make aren't this good LOL! Because it was hot-warm, the brownie was nice and moist along with being gooey with a soft crunch on it's exterier and from the generous amount of walnuts in it as well! The ice cream - I actually couldn't tell it was salted ice cream but together with the brownie AND with the almond praline. YUMMMM.

Second dessert that came out was what I called the de-constructed lemon tart consisting of lemon custard, chunks of shortbread biscuits, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and basil & flowers as garnish. Definitely a dessert that you must eat altogether as eating it alone (besides the ice cream, that can be eaten alone :D) may be too much as it's quite rich. The lemon custard was rich with just the right amount of tartness and sweetness but when paired with the shortbread which was more on the plain side (kinda reminded me of savoiardi biscuits also known as lady finger biscuits) it was just really delicious as if you're eating a lemon tart (hence I called it the de-constructed lemon tart). All of us enjoyed this dish surprisingly because we're all not really a big fan of lemon custard. Definitely changed our thoughts on that haha!

Lastly is The Winery's apple crumble pie with calvados ice cream. One of the most different apple crumble or apple pie I ever had and by different - I mean amazingly good different. I can't quite describe the apple pie itself because it felt like an apple lasagne being layers by layers but I am probably wrong. Not heavy on pastry and definitely not your typical apple filling where you have a balance of sweet, tartness and spice of cinnamon. The apple just seem like cooked apples but on the fresher side so there isn't much of a party in your mouth. My favorite part of the dish is the crumble. Super crunchy crumbs scattered on the plate and on top of the 'pie'. The ice cream definitely paired well with the apple pie with a good amount of sweetness with the calvados after taste.

Overall we had an amazing time there and would definitely come back :D It was unfortunate that I didn't take much pictures especially the surroundings T_T Definitely need to make the habit of taking more pictures.

Please ignore the fact my face is super ghostly white as if I caked too much makeup that was the wrong shade. Cos that was what happened and I didn't realise LOL!  Some "makeup-artist" I am
Once again Happy birthday to my fellow great friend Alysha! (if you like - you can wish her a happy birthday on her instagram at alyshaquach and just blame its me LOL )

Thanks for reading and until then,
take care and stay well!

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