Macelleria

Review: Macelleria (Enmore)

I love the concept of this place. I’ve been twice in three days. Enough said.

Dining room

Macelleria is basically a butcher shop where you can do the normal thing and just buy some (great quality) meat and snags to go, or you can order your meat of choice (mainly beef but also some lamb, chicken and fish), get it cooked to your liking, throw in a couple of sides and a drink and eat in.

Steaks

Steaks

The steaks (Cape Grim and Angus) are excellent and they do a good job at cooking them to required specs. Most sausages are gluten-free and way above supermarket quality.

Sausages and skewers

There’s a good variety of salads (all $5.90), which are pre-portioned in takeway containers for easy grab-n-go. Roasted veggies are kept warm in a bain marie and chips are cooked to order.

Salads, sausages, wines

So far we’ve tried a couple of excellent steaks, some sausages, chicken skewers, coleslaw and roasted vegetables. We’ve enjoyed every single bite.

Rump steak

Steak

Cape Grim rump steak ($16.90)

Roasted vegetables

Roasted vegetables ($5.50 small – pictured, $8.90 large)

Chorizo

Chorizo ($3.90 each)

Duck sausages

Duck sausages ($3.50 each)

Coleslaw

Coleslaw ($5.90)

Chicken skewers

Chicken skewers ($2.50 each)

There’s a full bar offering the usual suspects and a short but interesting wine list (featuring a few organic Italian drops) and little known (to me) beers. If you have trouble deciding, the friendly French bartender will help you out. There’s also kombucha available. Did I mention I love this place?

Wines

Italian red

There’s also a variety of burgers that can be ordered naked (i.e. no bun). Burgers are great but the patties themselves are on the small side.

Macelleria
73-75 Enmore Rd
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9557 0465
Website
On Facebook

Macelleria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review: The Meat & Wine Co. (Darling Harbour)

My friend from uni and his wife came all the way from Spain, where they now live, to see the koalas and the Great Barrier Reef. I met them for lunch the day they arrived to Sydney. In spite of the time difference, the long flight and the inability to check in the hotel until 2 pm, they were happy to wander around Darling Harbour, snapping some pictures in the surprisingly sunny weather.

I had a few (dozen) restaurants in mind where to take them but felt guilty for force-feeding them at an unnatural time for them (lunch time in Spain is around 4 pm), so asked them what they felt like eating. Sara thought steak would be a safe bet, and so I played a card that wasn’t originally in my deck: The Meat & Wine Co.

I had forgotten they had kangaroo in the menu, and immediately thought it would be a nice thing for them to try. The fillet comes seasoned with bush spices, char-grilled, and served with Desirée potatoes in a sage and wild herb salt crust, tomato chutney and crispy onion rings. In the beginning Micky said he felt sorry for the cute little creature but he did find it very tasty.

Kangaroo

Kangaroo ($34)

Sara had the flame-grilled beef fillet skewers, marinated in sherry vinegar and herbs, and served with mash. I was told it was as good as it looked.

Flame-grilled beef fillet skewers with mash

Flame-grilled beef fillet skewers with mash ($33)

I had the Monte free range, pasture-fed 120 days eye of rump (200g), served with mash, plus a garden salad. The steak was good, the mash was one of the best I’ve had in Sydney, and the salad was nice.

Pasture-fed eye of rump 200g

Eye of rump 200g ($25)

Garden salad

Garden salad ($6)

The Meat & Wine Co, Darling Harbour
Level 1, IMAX Theatre Complex
31 Wheat Rd
Darling Harbour NSW 2000
(02) 9211 9888
themeatandwineco.com

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Review: Mumu Grill (Crows Nest)

For a person who doesn’t eat out very often it’s quite remarkable to visit an out-of-comfort-zone restaurant more than once. This was actually my third visit to Mumu Grill, and I would say won’t be the last.

The words grass-fed put this Crows Nest restaurant on my radar a couple of years ago. For the same reason, it was chosen for our last Paleo meetup. As usual we had a blast geeking out talking about science, exercise, and of course food (markets, butchers, cookbooks, butter, gluten, etc.). My sister and my housemate were there, and for the first time we didn’t get stuff to share, but ordered independently… the same dish. Pretty lame for a food blogger, I know, but sometimes it’s better to follow your instinct when it comes to ordering.

The Tasmanian Angus Rump was actually the most popular dish in our table of 17 people. Maybe because it was the cheapest of the steaks, but in my case also because I had the sirloin in my previous visit and I found it a bit tough. Grass-fed beef is leaner than grain-fed beef, so I prefer fattier cuts like a rump steak. This one was a 300g piece topped with a delicious roast garlic mustard. The steak was tender, cooked as requested (medium-rare in my case), and perfectly seasoned. It comes served with green beans and potatoes (chips, mash or new potatoes) but most of us swapped the tubers for a simple side salad, dressed with olive oil and balsamic.

Tasmanian Angus rump topped with garlic mustard

Tasmanian Angus Rump ($28.90)

Side salad

Side salad

Food was good, and service very accommodating to our gluten-free requirements. I’ll be back.

Mumu Grill
70-76 Alexander Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
(02)9460 6877
mumugrill.com.au

Mumu Grill on Urbanspoon

Review: Mumu Grill (Crows Nest)

Deal vouchers are tricky. I’ve had both good and bad experiences (with food and other products/services), so I’ve learned to be cautious when using them. Luckily, the rules at Dimmi are very clear: earn points by booking through their website and writing a short “review” of your experience, and redeem discount vouchers in one of the participating restaurants. Vouchers will give you 50% off your bill (drinks not included) and the only catch is that you have to use them between Sunday and Thursday.

The restaurant I chose to redeem this particular voucher was Mumu Grill, where I had a great meal as part of the food photography class I attended last year. Not only that, but Mumu is the only restaurant in Sydney I know of where I can be sure all beef is grass-fed.

My initial thought was to order the 1 kg T-bone to share with Al but we had been in a speed boat and were still dizzy, so we chose two regular-sized mains: a steak (of course!) and a pork roast.

The sirloin steak was good and cooked medium-rare as requested. It was a bit tougher than expected (although I know grass-fed beef is less fatty than grain-fed, I’m used to the fattier cuts) but tasty for sure. The green beans tossed in butter and the potato chips that came with it were the perfect match.

Sirloin

Sirloin

Sirloin

Sirloin

The Bangalow pork shoulder, slow roasted for 15 hours and served with celeriac and apple remoulade sounded amazing but didn’t reach our expectations. I felt the flavour of the pork a bit too strong, and in general we were unimpressed.

Slow roast Bangalow pork shoulder

Slow roast Bangalow pork shoulder

Mumu Grill is far away from where we live and our meal wasn’t precisely stellar but I’d be happy to go back and support their commitment with sustainability.

Mumu Grill
70-76 Alexander Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
(02)9460 6877
mumugrill.com.au

Mumu Grill on Urbanspoon

Bistec a lo pobre (poor-style beef steak)

This is not a recipe, but a graphic explanation of what a lo pobre means. You can find that term pretty much everywhere in Perú (the coast, the mountains or the jungle); it literally means “poor-style” and translates on the plate as a side of fried plantains (or bananas) + fried egg + potato chips (and rice, of course!)

Bistec is Spanish for “beef steak” (shocker, I know) and is one of the meals that usually gets served a lo pobre. Other options are lomo (sirloin), milanesa de pollo (chicken schnitzel), etc. For the ultimate “poor” version skip the meat! I’m only half-joking here, a popular meal in Peruvian homes is arroz a la cubana: rice, fried plantain/banana and fried egg.

Last week we scored great grass-fed porterhouse steaks at Establishment 218 for $9.99 a kilo. When we stopped at Fiji Market to get some ghee I couldn’t resist and bought two plantains. Lunch was bistec a lo pobre sans fries, with a rainbow chard, tomato & grilled green onions salad. Very tasty.

Bistec a lo pobre

Review: Amazon Steakhouse (Newtown)

On a rainy Saturday evening four hungry girls headed to South King Street in search for Greek food. Unfortunately 3 Olives was packed and fully booked for the night. A quick look at the menus of the closest restaurants made us opt for Amazon Steakhouse and its promising BBQ ribs.

I’ve always thought this restaurant looks like a big joke. Now I know it. It is a big joke, so people: don’t come here. Ever.

Ok, let’s elaborate. First of all, the obvious. The decor is fake. Apparently the owners went to a variety store with a 20 dollar note and got whatever they thought would look like being in the Amazon. There are these bamboo fences all over the walls, plus fake palm trees, fake torches, blue Christmas lights (hence the hue in the photos) and a fake waterfall with fake steam on the way to the toilets.

Once you stop laughing at the decor it’s time to order. The prices are not particularly cheap but the combo options seemed like good value. Bonnie ordered the ribs & rump combo (char-grilled 300g grain fed aged rump and smokey half rack pork ribs); Vicky, Paola and I shared the chicken & ribs combo (char-grilled chicken fillets and smokey half rack pork ribs) and the seafood platter (zesty salt’n pepper squid, juicy tiger prawns, tender baby octopus and grilled fish). All of them include one side and sauce, Bonnie ordered steamed vegetables and no sauce for the steak; we had steamed vegetables for the seafood platter (which comes with tartar sauce) and garden salad and mushroom sauce for the chicken. Ribs, as described in the menu, come with BBQ sauce.

We also ordered a $21 bottle of Angove Merlot that made us company while waiting. Thankfully. Apparently the restaurant’s crew has only 3 members: a waiter, a waitress and a cook. You know how some restaurants advertise themselves as having a “relaxed atmosphere”? Well, these guys have taken it very seriously, they are way too de-stressed. They are friendly and all but they don’t seem to care too much about people waiting for service. For example, when we did manage to get hold of them to ask for more water or get our piled dirty plates out of the table, we got a friendly assurance that they would do it in a moment but it didn’t quite happen.

Our food took a while to arrive and I know why: they were busy overcooking most of the stuff. Fortunately it wasn’t the case of the seafood. It was a very decent platter (although I’d have preferred non-crumbed squid, but drinks had turned this a cheat night anyway). The only issue was the overcooked veggies but I’ll take overcooked veggies over overcooked seafood any day.

Seafood Platter

Seafood Platter ($38.95)

Bonnie tucked in her rump steak which was supposed to be cooked medium. From my experience most restaurants would be better off not asking customers what temperature they want for their steaks. Why not avoid deception by saying something like “our cooks have no clue on how to achieve your desired level of doneness but we guarantee it’ll be cooked”? The steak was well done, dry and a bit tough. Same with the ribs, although the BBQ sauce was tasty. Bonnie ordered a serving of Cabernet sauce to moisten up the rump.

Ribs & Rump Combo

Ribs & Rump Combo ($38.95)

Our chicken & ribs combo had similar characteristics. The ribs were the same, a bit dry but with a tasty (and I’m sure full of sugar) sauce, and the chicken was in the verge of burning, completely dry and tough. You’d expect a more respectful treatment for meats at a steakhouse.

Chicken & Ribs Combo

Chicken & Ribs Combo ($38.95)

Vicky was in the mood for dessert. We had been talking about sticky date pudding, so the craving was on. Amazon offers a rich sticky date pudding, freshly baked and smothered with hot butterscotch sauce and served with vanilla ice cream. I can’t tell you if it was fresh or not, but Vicky enjoyed it. Bonnie and I had liquid dessert: two shots of Frangelico on ice each.

Rich Sticky Date Pudding

Rich Sticky Date Pudding ($12.90)

Amazon Steakhouse
357 King Street
Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9557 1111
www.amazonsteakhouse.com.au

Review: Chophouse (Sydney CBD)

A Grab Your Fork post about Chophouse featuring a photo of the pasture-fed Tomahawk steak placed the restaurant in my wishlist. My sister and I were planning a catch up with our friends Alinda and Salvatore; I tried to book Porteño but, as expected, it was fully booked. After a brief email discussion we decided to go to Chophouse.

The place is located in the fancier side of Sydney CBD, right between big-name hotels and restaurants (Rockpool Bar & Grill, Bilson’s, etc). The tall ceilings with ribcage-like structures make you feel small and remind you this is an American style steak house. Thankfully, besides the aforementioned gigantic steak, portion sizes are human friendly.

As usual, I had checked the menu beforehand and spotted a great Argentinian Malbec in the wine list, which by the way is way more expensive than in Lima and Buenos Aires, but not bad for Sydney. Everyone trusted in my decision and we ordered a bottle to share.

2009 Altos Las Hormigas Malbec

Altos Las Hormigas Malbec

Altos Las Hormigas Malbec ($51.00)

The 350 g pasture fed striploin MB2+ served with chutney & jus was the best seller of the night, at least in our table. Gladys and Salvatore ordered one each, Alvaro and I got one to share. The attentive waiter offered us to bring ours cut to make the sharing easier. The beef was perfectly cooked to medium, the temperature the restaurant suggests. It was a thick, tender and tasty piece of protein that didn’t really needed the chutney that came in a little side dish.

Pasture-fed striploin MB2+

Pasture-fed striploin MB2+ ($34.00)

Pasture-fed striploin MB2+

Pasture-fed striploin MB2+, sliced to share ($34.00)

Alinda had the 320 g crumbed pork chop, sage & hazelnut served with apple sauce. I heard no complains about the chop, which looked great from my seat.

Crumbed pork chop

Crumbed pork chop ($27.50)

Alvaro and I shared a Waldorf salad with grilled dates, celery & apple from the sides menu. It was a bit bland for my taste, but alright when eaten with the beef. Gladys had the same salad.

Waldorf salad

Waldorf salad ($8.00)

Salvatore ordered the side that, for me, was the winner of the night: the wedge salad, a wedge of iceberg lettuce with slow-cooked egg, roasted tomato, spec & house dressing. Look at that yolk!

Wedge salad

Wedge salad ($8.00)

Alvaro and I also shared the crisp pork belly & sea scallop salad with Chinese cabbage, coriander, pea shoots & soy vinaigrette. Unluckily for me, the salad contained one ingredient not mentioned in the menu: noodles. It was too difficult to sift them away so I just ate them. The salad had a very nice flavour, the pork belly was crisp indeed, verging in the limit of burnt, and the scallops were alright.

Crisp pork belly & sea scallop salad

Crisp pork belly & sea scallop salad ($22.00)

Dessert time arrived and I decided to jump in since I had already made this a cheat meal. I don’t consider myself a chocoholic but I do have a preference for all things chocolate when it comes to sweets. The natural choice for me was the triple chocolate mousse cake. Sadly, it didn’t meet my expectations as I found it not so smooth in texture and intense in flavour.

Triple chocolate mousse cake

Triple chocolate mousse cake ($12.50)

Alvaro didn’t let a rustic name deceive him and ordered the pear & vanilla crumble with rhubarb crème brulee. The best dessert of the night, IMO. The pear & vanilla crumble tasted like pure, great butter. While I didn’t see or taste any rhubarb, the crème brulee was great. A quenelle of whipped cream rounded things off. The only disadvantage was the smallish size of all the components, especially because poor Alvaro offered all of us a taste of his dessert.

Pear & vanilla crumble

Pear & vanilla crumble ($12.00)

Gladys had the fig & spresso zabaglione with almond panacotta & brittle. Simple and beautifully presented, like a sea of glossy waves, full of coffee flavour. Great dessert, too.

Fig & espresso zabaglione

Fig & espresso zabaglione ($8.50)

Alinda had the amaretto & sour cherry semi freddo with chocolate sorbet & Italian meringue. It didn’t come as one would have expected from reading the description, that is like separate elements, but as a molded dessert. It was good and Salvatore, who is Sicilian, said it tasted like cassata.

Amaretto & sour cherry semi freddo

Amaretto & sour cherry semi freddo ($8.50)

While browsing the dessert menu, Salvatore mentioned how you can’t find affogato anywhere in Sydney, which I found strange because it’s offered in most cafes and restaurants in Newtown and the CBD. Including Chophouse, of course. The Chophouse Affogato consists in a scoop of vanilla gelato, a shot of espresso, and a shot of Frangelico. Delicious.

Affogato

Affogato

Chophouse
25 Bligh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
1300 246 748
www.chophouse.com.au