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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.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

EL TOPO - BONDI JUNCTION, SYDNEY

El Topo Mexican
The Eastern Hotel
Level 3, 500 Oxford St
Bondi Junction, Sydney

El Topo Mexican, located within the Eastern hotel in Sydney's famous Bondi Junction is well established as a local favourite. Boasting a very impressive space inside, situated on the rooftop, EL Topo Mexican has two main eating areas connected via a bridge that hosts a bar with one of the most impressive Tequila lists anywhere in Sydney. El Top Mexican is a perfect choice for any occasion. Private booth cater for small groups or an intimate dinner and large share tables make it easy for you to bring large groups together for a Mexican feast.

El Top Mexican has a very impressive menu with an array of choices from your classic Tortilla chips, guacamole, Tacos and Quesadilla's to more authentic traditional Mexican food such as Pork Belly and spatchcock. Also, we're pretty sure it’s the only Mexican restaurant in Sydney that offers roasted Crickets and a Cactus salad.

We ordered a few starters to keep us occupied while we studied the menu.  We started with a classic Mexican starter - tortilla chips and here at EL Topo Mexican they come with two types of Salsas, avocado and tomato Chile. Both salsas were very fresh and the chili added a welcome touch of hotness for an added kick. If you're looking for something different to corn or tortilla chips to start your Mexican meal, we would highly recommend you try the Plantains. These fried crisps were deliciously crunchy and full of spices.

We decided to try a Tequila drink as El Top Mexican has a very extensive range. Our lovely waitress, Melissa, a Mexican girl here on a working holiday visa, recommended the coconut Margarita.  Count J, who loves Tequila ordered a classic one. Both cocktails were delicious and the coconut Margarita here is made with coconut flavoured Tequila not with syrups or artificial flavourings. 
We enjoyed our cocktails with the kingfish ceviche which was fresh and full of flavour with huge pieces of juicy watermelon bringing out the full flavour of the kingfish in every bite.


We then moved on to some Tacos and a Quesadilla, both classic choices for a Mexican restaurant but done so well here. The Quesadilla generously filled with truffle oil, mushrooms and cheese was oozing with flavour. The tacos were perfectly crisp, especially the soft shell crab with the cactus salsa. I had never had soft shell crab in a taco before and I have to say it is definitely worth trying.




Our two main dishes were just as impressive as everything else we've tried so far however the 'Camote Y Frijole Pintos' was definitely the outstanding dish for this evening. This dish, stuffed peppers with sweet potato was literally a taste sensation. The pinto beans and walnuts added a real crunch and blended really well with the vegetables. This is a great vegetarian choice but meat lovers don't stress because the 12 hour beef rib smothered in a slightly sweet barbacoa sauce is sure to satisfy your carnivore needs.


As we finished our mains we started to think about dessert and saw lots of choices. We ordered the flan on the advice of our waitress who's local knowledge of Mexican food was invaluable. The huge serving of coconut flavoured single origin Mexican chocolate blended with hazelnuts and goats milk caramel was the most delicious flan we've had in a long time. With just the right sweetness and luscious shavings of coconut served in a huge Mason jar, it’s perfect for sharing or not, depending on your appetite.











And with that a perfect
evening has come to end. El Toppo Mexican at the Eastern is a perfect choice for any occasion. The atmosphere is fun and the staff are great with local knowledge on hand to help you with any menu questions you might have.

If you love Margeritas, then you might want to visit on a Monday where all Margaritas are $10 from 4pm. Ole!




They do what the do well here at El Topo.

It's not over the top-o (sorry) but it's a fun night out in a relaxed atmosphere with good food and drinks to match.

The Counts, who are now doing reviews for Sir and Mlady Dine Out, dined as guests of El Topo and The Eastern Hotel. Special thanks to Sonya Blan of The Eastern for arranging this.

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Monday, 31 August 2015

CHARLOTTE'S LITTLE SISTER - PENNANT HILLS, SYDNEY

Charlotte's Little Sister
Pennant Hills Marketplace
4-10 Hillcrest Rd
Pennant Hills, Sydney

Charlotte continues to spread her wings and expand, and has now added a cosy corner in suburban Pennant Hills to their expanding brand.

Their growth is based on having a great suite of products and matching service that clearly gives customers what they want or are looking for.

This place is small. They do have a few tables and chairs so there is space to sit, soak up the sun and enjoy what's there.

They do a roaring take away trade though.




















Apart from selling lots of coffee's - mostly take aways - they do have some amazing eye candy cakes there. These go constantly as they are right under your nose as you order your coffee and they look so good. Willpower is certainly pout to the test here.





















As it was a Sunday brunch we of course started with a couple of coffee's to kick start our systems. The system here works well - and it needs to because they're busy. Coffee is the main fare here on a Sunday morning and barista Euno is flying but keeping his smile.















We move on to trying the food. They offer plenty of choice here - lots of sandwiches and wraps but a few other things too.

Sir perused the menu and landed on "Avo on Toast".

It's described in the menu as smashed avocado and heirloom tomatoes on toasted sourdough with Mama Helen's famous dressing.

You can get this in a serving of one slice or two. Sir was set to have two slices - no surprises there - until Euno said he'd have to try a muffin. He wavered and went with one.

The serving was big for just one slice and the taste was great. The nice fresh flavours combined well and it was a clean mix that worked perfectly.

Mlady is one of those "healthy start to the day" types - not that Sir's breakfast wasn't healthy.

She spied and chose the "Toasted Muesli". It came served with seasonal fruit, honey and yoghurt.

What arrived was a bowl full of colour, flavour and plenty of textures.

There was a nice crunchy muesli base topped with masses of fresh fruit, a big dollop of yoghurt and a decent drizzle of honey.

It was exactly the start to the day that she had been looking for and she was clearly happy!

It was a big bowl too so she had no chance of leaving the table still hungry.
Leaving some space for a muffin was a big call, but it turned out to be a good one. They have quite a range of muffin choices here but Sir had their most popular - the berry and yoghurt muffin. It very clearly had a berry and yoghurt topping but also was packed inside with the same stuff. It was rich, moist and delicious. Mlady went for the smaller jam ball - a donut filled with rich jam and a dusting of icing sugar. We both agreed we'd made good choices. 






Charlotte's Little Sister is a small place with big flavours and great choices. Grab a coffee here but take a look at the menu and the freshly made sandwiches and wraps (they bake on the premises) and you'll probably buy something.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Charlotte's Little Sister. Big thanks to owner Jason Ghebar. Thanks also to Euno and Lauren for looking after us. Special thanks to Rachel Cameron of The Society Group for inviting us. 



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Sunday, 30 August 2015

BASEMENT 33 - SYDNEY CBD

Basement 33
33 Goulburn St
Sydney CBD

Basement 33 might be a new addition to Sydney's cocktail scene, though it's certainly not an amateur bar. With a very impressive cocktail list on offer and bartenders who are true professionals, basement 33 is New York's finest, right in our neighbourhood!

As the name suggests, it's located in the basement of 33 Goulburn Street. It's tastefully decorated with a mixture of seating arrangements to cater for any group, small or large, with capacity to seat about 200 people inside. Adjacent to the main cocktail area are two private rooms, each with audiovisual capabilities, making it a perfect choice for a birthday celebration, or even a PR or corporate event.

We arrived on a Saturday night and although the venue was quite busy, we found a cosy booth to sit at. We both were in the mood for a few cocktails and after looking at the drinks menu, we definitely were in the right place.

Count J loves champagne and Count N likes vodka, so we started with the Vanilla Sky and and a Champagne Cocktail 33 Times a Day. If you like a strong cocktail, the Vanilla Sky is a good choice. With vanilla flavoured vodka and Cointreau, its a drink that makes an impression. The Champagne Cocktail 33 Times a Day was fantastic. It was mixed with the bars signature 'B33' fruit mix. We asked what that was, but unfortunately it's a house secret. It was delicious though. Count J is was extremely impressed.




















After our first drink. We started getting hungry and Basement 33 has a food menu that's just as impressive as their cocktail menu. We love New York style pizzas and this place has 14 of them on offer. We choose the 'rocket to the moon' with fresh tomato, mozzarella and lashings of mouthwatering prosciutto. This pizza, with a thin crispy base, screams New York. We loved it.













It was time for another cocktail so out came the impressive drinks menu again. Count N always goes for the  healthy option if it's on offer, so when he saw 'health kick' on the menu, He had to try it. This refreshing cocktail had a gin base mixed with fruit like grapefruit and apple. He really enjoyed it. It wasn't as strong as the previous one so definitely a good choice if you like a more refreshing, fruity cocktail.


Count J followed suit on the fruit theme and ordered the Mel Ki. With a melon liqueur and Grande Mariner mixed with kiwi, it was tangy and slightly sweet. Both cocktails were consumed quite quickly so we ordered some more food as we were hungry again.


Now, if you like going out for a few drinks and having some food to share, this place is perfect. Lots of share plates to choose from and quite diverse too. You can shoes from an array of salads to antipasto plates to lovely desserts. First up we ordered the cheesy meatballs. As the name suggests, it's meatballs cooked with mozzarella and  then topped with mozzarella - Absolute cheese heaven with strings of mozzarella flowing out with each bite.














We also tried the cheesy fries which were just as cheesy and more-ish as the meatballs.

On the advice of the Waiter, we also ordered the antipasto platter. This was definitely a standout dish. This huge platter was loaded with enormous slices of prosciutto and other Italian cured meats with huge pieces of cheese and crispy Italian bread. This is a crowd pleaser and perfect for sharing!


As we finished our food we ordered one more cocktail just and studied the dessert menu. We went with a classic this time, a Gin Martini which was just as impressive as our previous drinks. It was perfectly shaken and presented beautifully. Then our dessert arrived. We were speechless. Presented in a huge mason jar, a stack of smashed waffles, Oreo biscuits, pieces of Mars bars all mixed with ice cream and topped with strawberries and whipped cream. this culinary explosion is something of a taste sensation and we highly recommend it.



















Basement 33 has great vibe and is perfect for a drink or a night out with friends. The impressive fit out includes a stand-out bar that runs like a well oiled machine pumping out impressive cocktails in record time. Basement 33 is open 7 days a week.


The Counts, who are now doing reviews for Sir and Mlady Dine Out, dined as guests of Basement 33. Special thanks to Nathaniel Bourke of Maagnate for arranging this.













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