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Sir and M'Lady Dine Out is a restaurant, travel, bar and food journey across Australia and the world. Come with us as we eat, drink, holiday and cook our way through life.

Monday, 14 July 2014

LIVE AT THE CORTILE (INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL) - SYDNEY

Live at the Cortile
InterContinental Hotel
117 Macquarie St, Sydney CBD

Good food, good drinks and beautiful music in decadent surroundings at very reasonable prices - sound good? Then you need to get along to "Live at the Cortile" at the InterContinental Hotel Sydney. We went in April and again in June. The next one is on 7th August so book early - its absolutely great!


This is just some of the food we had the pleasure of eating on our last visit.

Basically for only $60 per person you get eight items of food each, and a cocktail, and beautiful music in wonderful surroundings!

It doesn't get any better than this! We had six savoury items and two sweet ones - and it's surprisingly filling. 
We were listening to music from Brahms and Mozart and eating food matched with the music - how good is this! The next SSO Live at the Cortile Session is on 7 August.

The food is just as good too being in two sets of four items. For the next session Set 1 consists of mushroom/oregano/slow cooked quail egg/brioche/butter; mini French onion soup; salmon en croute; pulled wagyu brisket/chestnut/Heidi Gruyere foam.  



















Set 2 consists of smoked duck/pumpkin/roasted chestnut; salmon meuniere/leek tart tatin/kale chips.

Then two desserts are hailala vanilla iles flottantes/caramelised almond; cardamon creme brulee.

Then add a champagne cocktail to sip on and you get the picture about the food and beverages - top quality.









Live at the Cortile with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra is an amazing way to spend an evening. We've been twice now - this time with two prize winners from a competition on our site (actually won by their daughter Michelle) - and we had lovely company in Silvio and Nora who were charming.

Sir and Mlady (and Silvio and Nora) were guests of the InterContinental Hotel. Special thanks to Lexi Penfold from Pulse Communications for arranging our visit and the prize!



The Cortile Lounge on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

CAFE BIRKENHEAD - BIRKENHEAD POINT, SYDNEY

Cafe Birkenhead
Birkenhead Point Shopping Centre
Drummoyne, Sydney

While Cafe Birkenhead is in fact on the edge of a shopping centre, or inside it really, it also has its own identity and most importantly its own outlook over the water. The views here are lovely.

By day it's a large cafe dishing out a wide variety of food and drinks for breakfast, morning tea, brunch and lunch. By night it is often catering for a function - and its open plan allows for a wide variety of different configurations.

Either way you still get those lovely views out over the water - some with sunlight on it and others with night lights!


Mlady and I love bruschetta and the fresh and interesting combination of mushroom, baby beetroot and goat curd certainly caught the attention of us both.

It was certainly just as colourful as we expected and the flavour combination was excellent. We also agreed that it ticked the "healthy" box as well.

It was a substantial serving of two large slices with plenty of topping - so it was just as well that we had only ordered a single serving to share.

I'd hate to think how either of us would have coped with this as an entree for one!

The selection of freshly squeezed juices provides some lovely combinations. I love mint in drinks so I chose the Energy Booster made with watermelon and mint. Mlady loves ginger so she chose the Pink Lady made with apple, pineapple, strawberry and ginger. They came in jars and they were fresh, refreshing and delicious. 


Mlady is quite a fan of spinach and ricotta as a combination so the spinach and ricotta ravioli was her immediate choice for her main course.

The ravioli came served in a pink sauce made with sun dried tomatoes and the meal was garnished with wild rocket.

Like everything else at Cafe Birkenhead it was a massive serving and she really enjoyed it.


I love seafood and pasta - they just seem so right together!

The crab and prawn homemade linguine with chilli, garlic, parsley and lemon therefore ticked all the boxes.

It was a big serving and they didn't skimp on the seafood either which was lightly cooked, moist and tender.

There's a decent list of desserts ranging from cakes, cheesecakes and brownies through to muffins, macarons and even scones.

However in keeping with the Italian theme of the place and our other dishes we chose a serving of cannoli filled with ricotta and pistachio to end our meal.

It looked impressive and was actually really tasty.


Even though we were really full by now, the lemon citrus tart had also caught my eye. I love citrus tarts - lemon or lime are both fine.

I always browse dessert menu's and more often than not end up with a tangy citrus dessert - or chocolate.

This one was indeed tangy - as it should be. The ice cream and cream went well and it hit the spot!





Cafe Birkenhead is a big place that attracts the shoppers at Birkenhead Point for breakfast, brunch and lunch. They also use their beautiful location for weddings, parties and other functions. It's close to shops, with good food in substantial portions.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Cafe Birkenhead. Special thanks to Tony, the Manager, and Prisca for looking after us. Thanks also to Fallon Gomesz from Platinum Restaurant Group for arranging our visit.



Cafe Birkenhead on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 6 July 2014

CARNIVAL SPIRIT CRUISE SHIP - OUT OF SYDNEY

Carnival Spirit Cruise Ship
Out of Sydney

Ever been on a cruise? We hadn't until recently and were fortunate to experience a Pacific Island cruise on the Carnival Spirit out of Sydney.

What an experience it was.

We knew the food would be good based on earlier reports - but it still surprised us with the quality and variety as well as how they can personalise individual meals even though they have over 2,00 people on board!

After boarding and your bags getting delivered to your cabin you must go back up on deck to watch the sun set on Sydney as you leave the Harbour. The lights of Sydney look amazing as the ship slowly passes the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

It's stunning.
 




We've all seen movies with cruise ships that seem grander than a five star hotel.

We never expected it to be as spectacular as it was in reality. Everywhere we went on board kept surprising us.

The grandeur and attention to detail was amazing. The atrium was nearly 10 floors high. The woodwork everywhere was beautiful. You just walk around in awe.



We've previously shown some of the food available at Empire Restaurant. There are so many places to eat and drink on Carnival Spirit it seems you're going from food to drink to food etc etc all the time. It's everywhere. We visited Fat Jimmy's C-Side BBQ for lunch one day - even though we were still full from breakfast! It's up the top of the ship and serves some tasty slow cooked treats! We grabbed a selection on a few plates and put them in the middle of our nearby table to share. You can take as much as you want too!  










There are so many entertainment options on board you struggle with what to choose. Fortunately each evening they issue everyone with a brochure setting out what's on, and when, the next day. It's compulsory reading!

One thing you simply can't miss are the water slides. They have the biggest and fastest here in Green Thunder - a 10 metre vertical drop with top speeds of 65 kilometres an hour! It's a rush.










Let's get back to some food again though! In spite of the massive breakfasts, lunches and dinners we were dumbfounded to discover they even have high tea in the afternoon on several days during the cruise. Of course we had to try it!

It's a good selection of savoury and sweet goodies with tea or coffee - and the scones were delivered fresh from the oven and piping hot!
















The thing you can't get used to on board are the views. It's postcard material every day from sunrise to sunset.



   






How great are these pods? There in the Serenity Retreat at the stern of the ship. Each holds two people so you can lie back in comfort, sip a cocktail, listen to live music and watch the sun set (or rise). It's a child free area as well!

Cruising is like travelling on a five star hotel. The food is everything they've told you and more. The entertainment is just as good too - Vegas style shows, a dedicated comedy club, live music in about eight or nine different places, a gym, games room, bars everywhere, a casino, shops, shops, shops....... it was a different world. It's easy to understand why some people cruise all year round - it would be a great life!

Special thanks to Carnival Cruise Line for providing so much for us! Thanks also to MGMedia for arranging everything so professionally.