Thursday, September 16, 2010

the hunt for the best chai latte.

I've been quite hooked on chai lattes recently after having a really good one at some food court near the Rocks. Never used to like it before honestly. I've tried quite a number from different cafes and takeaway stands so I've had a fair share of ok ones and some really bad ones.

Starbucks, George St - FAIL
d'ough ESPRESSO, World Square - OK
Workshop Espresso, George St - YUM
Tom N Toms, Bathurst St - FAIL
Some food court near the rocks - YUM
Taste Baguette, Sydney Uni - OK
Parma Cucina & Bar, Sydney Uni - OK
Danks St Depot, Sydney Intl Airport - OK

and the list continues...

If you're a chai latte fan like me, drop me a note to let me know where I can get a chai latte that will knock my socks off, be it in Sydney or Singapore!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Pilu at Freshwater: 'Just heck it and try something new'

Pilu at Freshwater
'On the Beach', Moore Road
Freshwater NSW 2096
Tel: 612 9938 3331


I have recently revived an old ideal which is to gain new experiences whenever possible. On most occasions when I have to choose, I would normally pick the familiar choice because I am afraid of risking my time and money on unproven quality. However I soon realised that this rational behaviour doesn’t pay off all the time. And thus I have decided that sometimes, I should just heck it and try something new. This attitude stuck with me on my recent trip to Sydney and one of the things it did was to lead me to Pilu at Freshwater.

Pilu at Freshwater is a Sardinian restaurant operating out of a conserved beach house tucked away in a residential area on the northern shores of Sydney. The food is relatively simple, and the focus is on the ingredients and the authenticity of Sardinian flavours.

The Roasted Scampi with Sea Urchin Butter was interesting because it was my first time having sea urchin butter. The exotic butter provided the prawns a more savoury and salty flavour and thus helped to whet my appetite.

The Ravioli of Potato, Mint and Pecorino served with Butter, Sage and Black Truffles that followed was also very decent. It was the little items like the butter and truffles that added flavour to the main ingredients and gave another dimension to the dish.

The Fregola with Tomato and Cured Meat Ragu managed to satisfy and yet remain moderately light. The flavours were rich, wholesome but not overpowering.

The second half opened with the Snapper Fillet with Vernaccia and Green Olives. The fish was well cooked but it was again the little guys that made my day; the acidity of the green olives balanced well against the oiliness and the olives also added a salty punch to the dish.

Pilu's signature Oven Roasted Suckling Pig was the last; its skin was as crispy as keropok and the meat underneath it was quite tender and juicy. However I found that the absence of fat robbed quite a bit of flavour from the dish.

What I liked about this restaurant besides its charm, was the fact that the dishes complemented one another very well. It wasn’t so much about how wonderful the individual dishes were but rather it was the whole experience; how one course led to the next, the contrasting flavours, the simple and honest presentations. It was definitely a rewarding experience and it would certainly present a problem the next time I visit Sydney because it would mean breaking my old ideal.

This post was contributed by guest writer, D.