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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 our group as we eat, drink, holiday and cook our way through life.

Monday, 6 July 2015

BONDI HARVEST - BONDI, SYDNEY

Bondi Harvest
500 Oxford St (inside The Eastern Hotel)
Bondi Junction, Sydney

Bondi Harvest, the popular online TV series of Guy Turland and Mark Alston, has literally come to life in this cafe. On the first floor of the popular Eastern Hotel it has quickly become a favourite place to eat. The space is large and very functional, seating over 100 people. If you want some privacy, you can sit at one of many booths on offer but if you feel like being a bit more social, there are share tables too.

We entered via the hotel and went to level one up some grand stairs. We later found out the entrance is at street level on the other side. As soon as we walked in we noticed a mellow guitarist playing some lovely tunes on the floor. After a brief interaction with the lovely floor staff at the expansive marble bar, we made our way to one of the booths at the back and started looking at the menu.

Bondi Harvest also has a good range of very funky cocktails on offer.

The appropriate to area 'Surf and Destroy', a mojito with blueberries, is certainly a very refreshing choice that we loved.

The uniquely named "Harvest Hangs Mary" sounds somewhat violent but it is actually smooth and full of flavour with a strong hit of Tequila. It really hit the spot too!



















Our first starter, a generous helping of Whipped Meredith Dairy Goats Cheese was creamy, soft and flavoursome, served with delicious grilled sourdough bread.

Next was White Anchovies which were bursting with flavour, marinated in lemon and chilli for a slightly tangy bite. The chimmichurri sourdough was a great addition adding to the complex flavours in this dish.

We also tried the Skewered Melon on the advice of our waiter.

Wrapped generously with prosciutto on a bed of mint spiced labna, this melon dish was a mouthwatering twist on a traditional Italian Melanzane, and is something that we have never eaten before.

We'd now highly recommend it.



Next our mains arrived. If you like big servings. Bondi Harvest has you covered. Our lamb shoulder for two was a huge 1/2 kg, and was falling off the bone after many hours of slow cooking. A unique fennel and almond crumble added a real kick to this outstanding dish, served with a mountain of super-crispy roast potatoes - we love crispy potatoes!



Have you ever had a Quinoa Risotto? The one here is fantastic. Light and rich in flavour the dish featured grilled mushrooms and Parmesan cheese.  Truffle oil sets off a hint of earthy sweetness and brings out the flavour of the mushrooms so well. A Mediterranean Vegetable Salad was a colourful and tasty side dish, especially with the lamb.

All this amazing food was enjoyed with wine of course - after our earlier cocktails. We had a glass each of Tarrawarra Pinot Noir and Fromm La Strata Pinot Gris, chosen as always by Count J the wine buff.

It's not often we say no to food but when our waiter asked us if we wanted dessert, we initially declined but later conceded to sharing one.

A delicious house made Chocolate Mousse was topped with fresh blueberries, strawberries, shaved coconut and almond flakes. We enjoyed the dessert very much as it wasn't too heavy or overly sweet. A great way to end the night!





















We very much enjoyed our evening at Bondi Harvest. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is fun. Their philosophy is eat healthy with food that is seasonal and locally sourced. Although we came for dinner, Bondi Harvest boasts a very impressive breakfast and lunch menu. We most definitely will be back to try both. Bondi Harvest is open 7 days a week.




The Counts, who are now doing reviews for Sir and Mlady Dine Out, dined as guests of Bondi Harvest. Special thanks also to Sonya Blan for arranging this visit.


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Sunday, 5 July 2015

THE GUNNERS BARRACKS - MOSMAN, SYDNEY

The Gunners Barracks
End of Suakin Drive
Georges Heights (near Mosman), Sydney

It's hard to put into words just how picturesque this place really is. With sweeping views out across the harbour is easy to see why this is so popular for weddings and special occasions.

There are also the lovely walks in the surrounding bushland too - with many people working up an appetite by doing this first, or working off their food afterwards with a stroll in nature.

But it always seems to come back to those views and of course the charm of the building, the area and the history associated with it all.

This was a real gunners barracks. Constructed in 1873 it was the last military building in Sydney made entirely of stone. It was built to last - and it has!

Of course when you think of high tea you often associate it with champagne - and you won't be disappointed here. After we were greeted and seated at The Gunners Barracks we were greeted again with two glasses of lovely bubbles.

Somehow sipping champagne in a lovely historic building with fine china on the table and sweeping views of the harbour and they yacht races seems so ....... wonderful.





















Then of course there was the actual high tea that arrived a short while later.

The beautiful three tiered stand of fine bone china was adorned with delicious goodies on each layer. A separate plate had even more treats -  light and fluffy freshly baked scones (with a side of double cream and home made jam), tasty mimosas with raita dipping sauce and cute mushroom tarts.

The bottom layer of the stand had finger sandwiches - egg and mayonnaise, salmon with cream cheese and cucumber and finally tender roast beef.

The top two layers had the sweet goodies like a very light almond slice, a beautiful rhubarb panna cotta topped with crumble, salted caramel macarons, chocolate slice with raspberry (chocolate heaven) and a lovely light fluffy and creamy passionfruit cheesecake. It was sweet eaters delight.






































High Tea also includes tea - naturally - and there are so many choices of different tea's here the hardest decision you need to make is which one to actually have.

Mlady had her favourite - English breakfast tea - and wasn't disappointed.

Sir decided to be a bit adventurous and had the fragrant vanilla tea which he had black and adored.



The Gunners Barracks is a sophisticated and elegant place, with spectacular views and food to match this.

Its great for couples or groups. Its outdoor balcony is lovely but they also have a beautiful indoor area too.

Even though it's a big place - seating around 350 - it is understandably very popular - so make sure you book. It's so worth visiting!


Sir and Mlady dined as guests of The Gunners Barracks and Grand Pacific Group. Special thanks to Melody and Sam and to Aaron and Sal for looking after us so well. Big thanks also to Hannah Evans from Grand Pacific Group for arranging our visit.


















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Saturday, 4 July 2015

THE SMOKING PANDA - SYDNEY CBD

The Smoking Panda
5-7 Park St (above Coronation Hotel)
Sydney CBD

The Smoking Panda is a sultry place upstairs on the first floor above the Coronation Hotel that has a kind of East meets Las Vegas style to it.

Think coloured fluoro lights mixed with Asian lanterns.

Yes - it's eclectic but it ends up with a nice feel to it and the place is certainly memorable! The seating, the booths, the whole decor is true to theme.

This space has undergone quite a transformation from its former life and it's now a small bar that has a mysterious feel to it.


It's a place that is a little bit hard to find because it's upstairs off Park Street but it's worth finding. Venture up the stairs and you'll discover another world there.

It's been open a while but recent changes gave them a great opportunity to show what they'd done through a media launch - and boy was it popular.

It's such a prime location, right in the heart of the CBD, but being upstairs makes it also a bit more private.




















Ever had a donut martini? Neither had we but the idea sounds so deliciously good doesn't it! Well the end product here, a signature drink of The Smoking Panda, is worth the visit alone! We had one each, then another one each later on - it's a drink you'll try for fun and revisit for taste.




















There's plenty of eclectic things to look at here, with posters, cards and lighting around the place that catches the eye and tweaks your curiosity. The fluoro jellyfish in a two sided round tank was one prime example. It was hard to stop looking at them - show offs!

While gazing at them we devoured some Bang Bang Salad - a tasty mix to get the appetite going at the start of a big evening!

Then it was on to some delicious pork soup dumplings. Don't you just love this concept - a dumpling filled with meat AND soup.

Yes you have to be careful eating them - but it's so worth it!

These were great - having a good mix of meat and soup inside and great flavours.


We're both very partial to duck so we were eager to try the duck spring rolls.

They were nicely crisp on the outside and packed with plenty of rich duck meat and very tasty and the tangy plum dipping sauce was a great accompaniment.

The pork pot stickers that arrived next were just as good and kept to the East meets West theme. 

Aussie lamb is a staple, but the fusion concept continued again here with lamb ribs with peanut and coconut sauce. For Sir this was the dish of the night with great flavours covering tender meat.

Seafood was also represented on the choices too. The delicate prawns with chilli honey soy was a lot more subtle than expected allowing the flavours to combine well. 

Having hand made cocktails on tap - literally - was a great idea too.

It meant you didn't have to wait long to get your next drink! The range available was great too.

Of course there are also plenty of "made to order" cocktails available too - for the more complex mixes or for your special requests.
The Smoking Panda certainly lives up to its East meets West vision. The areas are authentically themed and the food and drinks give you plenty to try and plenty to stay for as well.

It's a place people will drop in and end up there for the whole night.

Sir and Mlady were guests of The Smoking Panda. Special thanks also to Aleisha from Wasamedia for inviting us. 























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