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

Saturday, 20 September 2014

GALLON + CAKE WINES - PYRMONT, SYDNEY

Gallon + Cake Wines
117 Harris St
Pyrmont, Sydney

There's something about the old historic buildings of Pyrmont that creates a warmth and charm as they transport you back to a bygone era. Gallon is one of those places!

We were at Gallon for the Cake Wines matched campaign to sample the best of both worlds - some signature dishes at Gallon matched with some tasty drops from Cake Wines.

The high ceilings, lovely arch and stone wall down an entire side add to the old world feel. High shelves around the walls are adorned with nick knacks and there's even a bronzed pigs head protruding from the wall just inside the doorway. Gallon seats 236 comfortably - so its pretty big, but that includes the courtyard out the back, two areas that can be privately booked and seating out the front.






















We arrived at Gallon feeling quite peckish and therefore we were eager to try a few dishes on the menu as there were some decent choices available.

We started with the half bocconcini ball drizzled with lemon and olive oil and accompanied with a decent serving of house made crisp bread.

The dish was simple but very effective.

We just cut chunks of bocconcini out of the ball and put them onto the crisp bread then scooped some of the lemon and olive oil mix onto it. Lovely.

This whole dish combined really well and it was fresh and very tasty.



As we were at here as part of the Cake Wines matched campaign we were of course going to sample a few Cake Wines! As Cake Wines say: Matched is an idea that's about exploring "kitchens that don't live in the limelight", sharing stories from the chef's that run them and giving some much needed love and exposure to the restaurants, cafes, tapas/wine bars and gastro pubs that sometimes get drowned out in our celebrity driven food world.


As a result, Cake Wines have been matched with certain signature dishes from places around the country. This is certainly a great concept and we were happy to be involved. Our starters were matched with a lovely Cake Wines Rose from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. This wine was not too sweet or too dry so it was an easy drop to sip with plenty of taste and it was something most people could enjoy.










Our second starter created such an impression when it arrived at our table - it had a real wow factor to it. We had grilled Cypriot haloumi with a watermelon side that was drizzled with a thin line of balsamic vinegar. The colours were impressive as were the flavours - rich warm cheese with refreshing crisp watermelon and a bit of tang from the balsamic.

Who would have thought that this would all combine so well! Mlady looooved this!

Then it was on to the mains. The signature dish we were having was the veal and pork meatballs in tomato sauce with a bread mop. These were very tasty with a tomato sauce with some tang but not overpowering the meatballs. The meatballs were from a family recipe from the grandmother of Gallon owner Julian - and we fully understood why they had this on the menu as they were great. 

The meatballs were paired with a lovely red from Cake Wines. This was the Cake Wines Shiraz from McLaren Vale in South Australia. We love our red wines and this was a lovely mellow soft red with great flavours that combined very well with the meatballs.

Gallon are well known for their pizza's. There are a decent list of available options on the menu and usually a special on the blackboard too.

We chose the Peking duck pizza which had sliced duck breast, hoisin sauce, plum sauce, garlic and shallots.

Hoisin sauce and duck meat are made for each other and this Peking duck pizza was testament to this.










Gallon seems like a small place when you walk in, but it keeps on flowing into other spaces and other rooms. They've cleverly converted what used to be stables out the back into a beautiful room that opens onto a lovely courtyard. It's a nicely decorated place that exudes old world charm. Almost all of their tasty food is made on site and can possibly be described as simple and quality food, but there is also a touch of adventure.

The drops from Cake Wines that were paired with our dishes at Gallon were both very tasty. They were well paired and each had great flavours. We hadn't tried Cake Wines before and we really enjoyed them.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Gallon and Cake Wines. Thanks to Lubos for looking after us so well, Julian for explaining where Gallon is heading and to Glen Cassidy, co-founder of Cake Wines for inviting us and arranging everything.



Gallon on Urbanspoon

RISTORANTE DA ANGELO - HOBART, TASMANIA


Ristorante Da Angelo
47 Hampden Rd
Battery Point, Hobart, Tasmania

Ristorante Da Angelo is a family owned and operated business that has been around for many years. This result doesn't just happen either - they must be doing a lot of things right! The use of tried and proven family recipes passed down from other generations is a nice touch as well.

Passing through Hobart on a brief trip created the opportunity to finally get here and see what the fuss was all about and why Restaurante Da Angelo was so popular. It was a week night so I guessed it was going to be a bit quiet anyway - and I was so wrong. The place was packed but I was almost apologetically given what was in fact a lovely spot looking out the front window.

I quickly ordered a glass of red - an essential when perusing an Italian menu - and a serving of garlic bread. The bread arrived quickly in smallish pieces in a bowl - not how I expected but very tasty and plenty of it.

My main course was a pasta dish - although the reputation of their pizza's nearly swayed me. I had fettuccine incazzata - a lovely pasta served with a creamy tomato sauce with onion in it, plenty of slices of hot salami and of course some garlic. This was a seriously good dish and again a substantial serving! Another glass of red and I was done.

After trying the pasta at Ristorante Da Angelo I'm now keen to sample their famous pizza's when Mlady and I are in Hobart next. Service was also fast and friendly. We love visiting Hobart so hopefully it won't be long!

Ristorante Da Angelo on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

SOCAL - NEUTRAL BAY, SYDNEY

SoCal
1 Young St
Neutral Bay, Sydney

SoCal is the relaxed Southern Californian surf influenced place that has rapidly become very popular in Neutral Bay.

If you like comfort food in laid back surroundings with subdued lighting and great music playing then head up the staircase! It's a deceptively big space with several areas that are separate but flowing into each other.

A massive bar - signposted BAR which you can't miss - stretches along the length of the main room. At the rear is a very casual room with a real indoor/outdoor feel to it. Plants at intervals and exposed pipes on the ceiling give it an almost casual industrial feel, and coloured lights, surfboards on the walls, share comfort food and the music ensure that Southern Californian aura.

We studied the menu while our first preliminary order arrived - a very tasty serving of corn chips with guacamole and salsa on an enamel plate.

It's hard not to order this - they looked good and most tables around us had them. Their popularity was a good sign that they'd be good - and they were.

It was a decent sized serving as well with a generous bowl of corn chips and two separate jars - one with salsa and one with guacamole.

The salsa was nice and chunky and very fresh - with a bit of tang as well.

The guacamole was a bit tangier again - and it all went really well together!























Drinks time - we were in a bar after all!

I had a Fee Fi Fo Rum - as a rum drinker I just couldn't resist the name!

It was made with aperol, Pampero blanco rum, lime juice, vanilla syrup a splash of sugar and angostura bitters. Very tasty too!

Mlady had a Garden Party - made from blueberry infused Tanqueray gin, elderflower liqueur, spiced blueberry syrup, rhubarb bitters and basil.

The immediate feedback showed that she really enjoyed this.

Both drinks were very well presented, as expected, and nicely garnished.


Our first entree was a cracker!

The prawn and crab puffs with habanero mayo were actually not quite what we expected - but they didn't disappoint at all and turned out to be great.

We probably pictured something in puff pastry and what arrived was more like a round croquette.

They were so good.

The "puffs"arrived piping hot, crisp on the outside and yet soft inside. The habanero mayo was a winner as well - it combined really nicely with the puffs and had a nice kick yet it didn't overpower the seafood filling.

We'd grab these again any time!





















Mlady is quite partial to vegetarian dishes - and I usually politely avoid them. Sometimes one makes the list to be ordered and they're usually quite good - for vegetarian dishes.

This one was an exception.

I'd probably describe it as similar to a vegetarian lasagne. It was rich, substantial, complex and most of all extremely tasty - so much that I think I ate more than she did.


Our next share dish was quite light and yet still a substantial serving. It was the mahi mahi with lentil salad, rocket pesto and veg crisps.

The fish was nicely cooked and the lentil salad and pesto added texture and complexity to the dish.

The veg crisps were to die for! Thin and crunchy we could have kept eating them. If they were available as a side we'd order extra servings!

Dessert time had arrived and even though we had filled up quite a bit, there's always room for a sweet finish to a meal! The sweets weren't shown on the menu but they were written on a surfboard on the wall opposite us and as there were two choices we decided to try them both. The almond and mocha moose was Mlady's choice and I ordered the lemon and caramel cheesecake with raspberries. The concept was to share them, but we failed. We each shared a mouthful but then stuck to our own choices as our favourites. Both were very tasty and the sizes make them ideal to share - if you can!

SoCal has a real buzz to it. It's busy but things keep moving at a nice pace. The southern Californian influence is certainly very apparent in decor, lighting, music and of course food and drinks. It all combined well to create a great place to stop by, chill out, grab a drink and devour some snacks or a full meal. Most tables around us went for the full meal option and shared dishes - giving everyone in each group a wider range of dishes to taste. 

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of SoCal. Thanks to Gemma for looking after us and recommending dishes. Special thanks to owners Hamish Watts and Ben Carroll of Applejack Hospitality. Thanks also to Olivia Warne of Pendulum Communications for arranging our visit. 



SoCal on Urbanspoon