Category Archives: CBD – Pyrmont

Momofuku Seiobo (Degustation), Pyrmont

I’ve heard a lot of things about Momofuku ever since it opened in 2011. From the rave reviews, to their famous pork buns and notoriously difficult booking system, I was definitely excited to finally try their degustation. It looks like the hype has died down a bit since as the booking system isn’t that difficult anymore – bookings open 20 days in advance online only, but demand isn’t that high with spots available with less than a week in advance. I visited on a Friday night and not all the seats were taken, so rest assured you don’t need to camp out at your computer 20 days in advance.

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Filed under CBD - Pyrmont, Degustation, Fusion

The Sandwich Hero – Super Sandwich Deliveries!

Is it a bird? Or a plane? No, it’s Superman…or one of his many superhero friends riding a Vespa and holding a sandwich! The Sandwich Hero is one of the most interesting food services to shake up Sydney, offering sandwich deliveries from superheroes to the many CBD offices throughout Sydney.

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Filed under CBD - Circular Quay, CBD - Darling Harbour, CBD - Haymarket, CBD - King Street Wharf, CBD - Martin Place, CBD - Pyrmont, CBD - St James, CBD - The Domain, CBD - The Rocks, CBD - Town Hall, CBD - Ultimo, CBD - Walsh Bay, CBD - World Square, CBD - Wynyard, Pop Up Restaurant

Cafe Morso, Pyrmont

Although Pyrmont is pretty close to the CBD, whenever someone suggests a restaurant in Pyrmont, I always think about the long walk across the bridge from Town Hall over Darling Harbour and most of the time I figure it’s not worth the effort to head over. But a few of my friends have been raving about Cafe Morso in Pyrmont and when I finally found the time one sunny morning, we set off for a trek to our brunch destination.

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Filed under Australian, Cafe, CBD - Pyrmont

Adriano Zumbo Dessert Train, Pyrmont

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will know who I am talking about when I mention Zumbo’s name. For those who have somehow missed the headlines, Adriano Zumbo is a famous patissier who was catapulted to fame through the popular Masterchef show for his quirky baked creations. After our fancy meal at Black by Ezard which left our wallets quite empty, we somehow still had room in our stomachs for dessert so we decided to go to Zumbo’s at The Star to cap off the night, wandering through the food court before arriving at the Edward Street exit where Zumbo’s is located.

There is a huge open kitchen where the patissiers are busily baking and you can observe them through the big glass windows. The two halves of the store are connected through this kitchen. The first half of the store is their takeaway concept store with whimsical selections of their baked goodies on display in brighly coloured cages. Inside the store itself are the signature macarons (“zumberons”) neatly housed in cute little boxes labeled “break in case of emergency” according to their eccentric flavours.

The other half of the store is the sushi train style dessert bar. Here, desserts zoom past the diners on a conveyor belt into the kitchen where freshly baked desserts are placed on the train to replenish stock. I’ve expressed my love for sushi trains before because they deliver instant food and Adriano Zumbo has ingeniously married the two concepts – delivering instant desserts to the sweet toothed masses. I’m in awe of his innovativeness and can see this unique dessert train idea really take off as more people find out about it.

The only surprise for us is that the dining section of Zumbos is actually quite  small, there are probably only about 15 seats all together and there is no room for the 4 of us to sit together on this Thursday night so we wait for about 15 minutes before we finally sit down. The service is friendly and the waitress helpfully explains that like conventional sushi trains, we can order any desserts we see on the menu which aren’t on the train, which means we can have freshly made-to-order goodies if we want! She also points out that some of the desserts only have a shelf life of around 10 minutes (such as a cake with foam bubbles on top) so everything already on the train is super fresh anyway. There is a colour coded plating system too and the plates are mostly priced around $9.50 or $10.50.

We had already been eyeing off several concoctions we saw in the takeaway concept store and as they came by on the train we quickly picked them up. First to come was the caramel cube cake – perfectly shaped and covered with square flakes of caramel pieces, it was so soft when we dug in with lovely cream mousse inside and orange jelly which gave it an interesting twist.

Caramel – Passionfruit crème, ginger vanilla bavaroise, tonka bean caramel, ginger sable breton, caramel chantilly, caramel sponge $10.50

Our friend also picked up a dark chocolate rectangular log and it had Adriano Zumbo’s name plastered all over the flat top. It was quite sweet, with raspberry flavoured jelly and maybe some soft marshmallow mixed in with the chocolate. Not sure what it was called though.

Raspberry chocolate log $9.50

The macarons are also available in groups of 3 on a plate, so I picked up the one with cola, raspberry salted caramel and pistachio. It would actually be cheaper to buy the macarons at the takeaway store where they are $2.50 per macaron but my brain isn’t completely switched on since I am in sweet sweet sugarland as I bite into the cola macaron. It tastes exactly like cola but without the fizz – very impressive! The raspberry salted caramel sounds strange but in true Zumbo fashion, manages to please our tastebuds with the balance between the sour, tart raspberry cream sandwiched between the salted caramel which itself mixes sweet and salty flavours. The pistachio by contrast was a bit ordinary, but was appropriately nutty and a decent macaron nonetheless.

Macaron plate $9.50

Our last indulgence of the night is a raspberry mousse tart, the gorgeous purple whipped mousse attracted our attention and we were rewarded with more sour goodness from the raspberry within the tart, light and fluffy mousse on top of a crumbly tart base.

Raspberry mousse tart, $10.50

The whole fitout of Zumbo’s is pastel coloured and there is even macaron wallpaper! The whole place gives off a bit of a Willy Wonka-esque vibe which is unparalleled in Sydney. This is one savvy patissier who knows exactly what the masses want from their desserts: an experience in adventurous flavours we have never seen combined before and knows that we are willing to pay a premium to get our fix from him all over Sydney from the original Balmain to North Strathfield (at Cheeky Chocolate) and now Pyrmont too. Count me in as a fangirl.

Adriano Zumbo Dessert Train
Shop 1, Cafe Court
The Star (Entry Via Edward St)
80 Pyrmont st
Pyrmont, NSW 2009

Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier on Urbanspoon


Filed under CBD - Pyrmont, Dessert, Patisserie

Black by Ezard, Pyrmont

As most Sydneysiders know, the former Star City Casino has undergone a major revamp and now is known as The Star. It now boasts much fancier shops and restaurants run by acclaimed chefs such as Black by Ezard, on the ground floor facing the harbour side of the casino complex. The chef who lends his name to the restaurant is Teage Ezard, who runs a two hatted restaurant in Melbourne and is now expanding his horizons by opening an upmarket steakhouse here in Sydney.

The restaurant is sleek and opulent, with gorgeous panoramic views and there is also a beautiful contemporary bar if you’re after a bit of a drink before you start your meal and this is where we end up tonight as we wait for our dining companions to turn up. The drinks menu is extensive but of course I am immediately drawn to the cocktails and I order a Brunch Cocktail which tastes of fresh citrus flavours such as mandarin and grapefruit, a good pick for the girls.

Brunch Cocktail, $18

When our friends arrive they also order a couple of cocktails from the charming bar manager, the Leisure Suit and a Velvet Martini. I had actually been eyeing off the Leisure Suit which contains elderflower and it was quite fragrant as expected, whereas the martini was a bit too strong for my tastes (actually reminded me a bit of the bitterness of Chinese herbal medicine).

Leisure Suit and Velvet Martini (around $18)

We are then escorted to our table along with our freshly made drinks and are impressed by the plush leather furnishings, from the comfortable chairs to the pebbled leather placemats. The boy and I have already got our hearts set on the signature dish of Organic Farm Egg as our entree while our friends opt for the prawns to start.

Brioche loaf  (complimentary)

The waiter brings out a complimentary loaf of mini brioche bread, butter and some black salt. I am intrigued by the black salt and sprinkle some onto the brioche after I slather the creamy soft butter on top. The brioche and butter are both unbelievably soft, and the salt is intensely flavoured delivering hits of savoury to counter the slight sweetness of the brioche.

It’s not too long before our dishes arrive and our entree is beautifully presented – crunchy shredded pastry on top and a slow cooked egg enveloped with light potato cream sauce, shaved black truffles, herb salad and some iberico ham. I almost can’t bear to destroy it with my spoon but eventually we tentatively break into the pastry to also crack through the egg with its runny yolk. It is a glorious medley of flavours, which is saying something since I don’t even like eggs but here the strong flavours from the truffle and potato cream bring out the savoury freshness of the egg and the shredded pastry adds a satisfying crunch and texture. The ham is just like proscuitto, intense salty flavour condensed into a wafer thin slice of meat and this adds another layer of savouriness to the dish.

Organic Farm Egg $34

We are already blown away by our entree and see why it is the signature dish of the restaurant but our friends are also enjoying their prawns which have been poached in butter, with corn salad and wood grilled watermelon. It is a much sweeter entree due to the corn and the watermelon is interesting, tastes softer than a fresh watermelon but retains its juicy flavour and has a hint of charcoal to it.

Butter poached prawns $25

Part of the hype of the restaurant is that it uses extraordinary cooking methods for both its steaks and its seafood. The steaks are cooked “sous-vide” which Wikipedia tells me is French for “under vacuum” and is a method where the meat is sealed in plastic bags in a water bath for a couple of days at a pre-determined temperature (lower than normal temps for cooking) to ensure the meat is cooked evenly and stays juicy. Afterwards the meat is woodgrilled as per usual. The seafood on the other hand, is poached in special Hawaiian deep sea water. Needless to say, we are all keen to find out whether our mains (a couple of steaks and a couple of fish dishes) live up to all the fuss that the cooking methods would suggest.

I have chosen the Ocean Trout which is pan roasted, with a heirloom carrot salad, orange scented lentils, carrot emulsion and crispy bacon. It is gorgeously arranged on the plate and the serving of fish underneath all the shredded vegetables is quite generous. The fish itself is nicely cooked so that it retains its moisture and the fresh flavours of the ocean trout shine through but sadly, I cannot taste the Hawaiian sea water it has been poached in. I am not a huge fan of the carrots; they are soft but do not add anything to the flavour of the dish and the lentils offer a strange texture in contrast to the smoothness of the fish. The bacon is a bit random, very crisp as it has been dehydrated but I prefer the crunchy pieces of fish skin that are peppered all throughout the dish to add a burst of saltiness. There are also a couple of bits of fresh mandarin which don’t really go with the overall flavour of the dish.

Ocean Trout $42

The standout seafood dish of the night is the Hapuka which my friend ordered and demolished in a flash. It is served with cauliflower, crustacean vinaigrette and shellfish oil, which all bring out the flavour of the delicately cooked white hapuka fish and in this dish you can actually taste the fresh seawater. Very jealous I didn’t order this myself but thanks H for letting me taste it!

Hapuka $46

Onto the steaks – we have not ordered any sides, only sauces so when they serve the dishes to us the plates look hilariously bare in contrast to our seafood dishes which are overflowing with garnishings. Fortunately the beef was very impressive, extremely soft and tender but still retaining its gamey flavour and it tasted more seared rather than grilled, which helped it maintain its juiciness.

Filet (200g grass fed angus) $45

Rib eye ( 400g dry aged grass fed angus) $52

The filet looks like a little rock of meat but is very flavoursome according to my friend and made her eyes light up after the first bite because it was so delicious. The housemade BBQ sauce that she ordered with it was quite sweet, in contrast to the savouriness of the marrow and shallot sauce which we ordered with the rib eye. The marrow sauce was served in a cute miniature copper pan with onions rather than shallots mixed through the dark brown broth that was the marrow itself, which tastes a bit heartier than stock. The rib eye had quite a bit of fat still attached to it which we cut off but was impressively tender otherwise.

This lavish new restaurant in The Star is definitely worth the trek across the Pyrmont Bridge if you are looking for premium meat and seafood in a fine dining setting. The restaurant is brimming with energy and luxurious touches, so come here to treat yourself, especially if you’ve just had a lucky run at the casino upstairs.

Black by Ezard
Level G, Harbourside,
The Star, 80 Pyrmont Street
Pyrmont NSW 2009
(Closed on Mondays)

Black By Ezard on Urbanspoon


Filed under Bar Food, CBD - Pyrmont, Steakhouse