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.

Friday, 19 December 2014


Made In Italy Trattoria
55 Miller St
Pyrmont, Sydney

Made In Italy is a growing venture - with five restaurants across Sydney - quite an achievement since 2001 when their Pyrmont restaurant opened.

The focus is on quality ingredients to create good food, atmosphere and service.

We were taken with the warmth and friendliness of the place. Everyone seemed happy and enjoying themselves - customers and staff. The place had a real buzz to it. It's hard to miss the little Fiat inside the doorway - yes inside. Everyone new there stops to take a look - probably at first to see if it's real!

The place is popular so even though it's a decent size you do still need to book on busy nights like Fridays and Saturdays.

So - what to start with. Yes they do have the usual things you'd want to see on the menu for an Italian restaurant. You won't be disappointed.

We grabbed a few glasses to start with - Mlady had a fruity Lambrusco and Sir had a Nero D'avola - a nice medium bodied red from Sicily.

We then went for starters - beginning with a special of zucchini flowers stuffed with buffalo mozzarella, ricotta and anchovies - a tasty combo with the salty anchovies a great idea.

Next it was arancini with pumpkin and blue cheese - cheap at only $8 for five and again a quirky combination that went so well. These apparently sell out fast when available so order them quickly - even if you're deciding what else to get.

Made In Italy are known for their pizza and pasta - with so many combinations.

We decided on pizza and Mlady liked the look of the vegetarian option - which probably wouldn't have been Sir's first choice. He conceded reluctantly that it was very tasty and he actually enjoyed it. The base was lovely and thin with nice tangy tomato paste and toppings. It was served high on a stand which always looks good on a table.

We were going to have a pasta next but were persuaded to try the barramundi. What an amazing dish. The fish arrived at the table cooked and whole. Then our waiter delicately dismantled it right in front of us and served the boneless flesh with the accompanying potatoes, vegetables and sweet cherry tomatoes.

It was impressive to watch - like dinner and a show. It also had lovely flavours that made this a great recommendation and a must have!

Don't forget to save at least some room for dessert - we never do! There's a display cabinet with so many things there - wander over and take a look before ordering your sweet finale.

We were lucky to get a platter with a cross-section of them - profiteroles, cheesecake, cream, ice cream, tiramisu and a few others.

We also had a couple of shots of their mandarincello - another must have!

Made In Italy is everything you want and hope for in a bustling Italian restaurant. It has atmosphere, charm, lively service and a great range of really good food. They're spreading across Sydney as well - Pyrmont, Annandale, Rose Bay, Sydney CBD and Castle Hill!

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Made In Italy. Special thanks to Giorgio and Roberto for looking after us so well and to Claudia Checchi for arranging our visit.

Made in Italy Trattoria on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 7 December 2014


Level 8 Swissotel Sydney
68 Market St
Sydney CBD

JPB is the revamped and renewed restaurant on level 8 inside the Swissotel in Sydney CBD.

Now under the guidance of Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich, who has a strong pedigree both overseas and locally, there's a whole new menu that is produce driven and creative at the same time. It's a great combination that results in some exciting dishes that you remember well after your visit.

Firstly though, JPB is on Level 8 - which is actually the lobby level of the Swissotel in the CBD.

You just take the lift up from their Market St entrance and it's on the far side of the lobby where a window seat lets you gaze up at Centrepoint and the city lights. The daytime view is just as nice too.

JPB looks bigger than its seating of 80 people suggests - but this probably just reflects how well spaced out the tables are. There's another room upstairs that seats a further 30 to 40 people.

Our nibbles started with a big bowl of fresh chickpeas mixed with garlic and chilli.

What an great start - they were so fresh and tasty as well as looking beautiful piled in their bowl -it was almost a shame to eat them (but we did anyway)! It was such a simple combination to snack on while we studied the menu - and it's always good to nibble while doing this!

Mlady had a gin sour made from Oxford Scholar gin and lemon juice with egg white, frou frou lemon and lemon myrtle. It was a twist on the classic that she really enjoyed. Sir had a Ned Kelly gun fire - a very tasty twist on a first settlers drink - made from pickled Illawarra plum and holey dollar gold rum with black tea.

A serving of robust house made individual dampers with subtle lobster dipping sauce was again unique and a nice companion.

Oysters are always a great snack to start a meal in earnest or even as an entree of course. The oysters here are either Sydney rock or Pacific and they are served in a variety of ways - natural, cucumber mignotti, kilpatrick, seaweed or watermelon foam. It's hard to know where to start - they all sounded so good! A selection of specialty salts on the table allowed even more variation - with suggestions on when you might like to use them.

The milk poached white asparagus sounded interesting. 

They came served with black truffle aioli, pecorino and watercress. 

This was another produce driven, simple and yet very effective dish with the flavours of each ingredient showing through yet in a balanced way.

The cleanseas hiramasa kingfish with cucumber, ponzu dressing, black garlic and flax seeds combined into another extremely tasty and appealing treat.

It was also a lovely combination of textures and flavours - but it's important to make sure that you use the sauce drizzle surrounding the meal on the plate - it goes so well.

This dish had it all and was lovely.

For both of us the dish of the night was probably the a la minute smoked ocean trout. The trout is smoked immediately before serving - you can't get any more timely than that! It came with avocado terrine and lemon myrtle fluid gel but has now evolved to be served with Meredith goats milk,  yoghurt whey, watercress and charcoal. All we know is that this was probably one of our dishes of the year for 2014 - it was that good!

The Ora king salmon was again another great dish. The red of the salmon contrasted beautifully with the greenery on the plate.

Contrasts of textures, colours and flavours abound here giving each dish a diverse mix and yet combines beautifully to create an experience that teases the taste buds at every mouthful and delights the diner. This dish was yet another example of this.

It's hard to go past ordering scallops for us these days - they're such a great menu item and can be served in so many different ways with such a variety of sauces, accompaniments and toppings.
The scallops with chard baby fennel, corn, pork rinds and honeydew was another creative combination. The juicy plump scallops were presented so nicely with delicate accompaniments surrounding them almost artfully.
The great dishes just kept on arriving - beautiful plating and presentation to match the lovely flavours being offered..

This may have been wagyu but unfortunately we can't exactly remember the meat and cut.

It was beautifully cooked though - pink and juicy as can be seen from the picture - and the presentation was again so pretty. The meat was extremely tender too.

Mlady was in a cheese cake kind of mood - it does happen - and so she chose the vanilla and malt cheese cake with blueberry and almond tuile and spiced rum.

It was again nicely presented and she loved it.
Sir spied the donuts and had the coffee pot de creme with donuts, double cream and cinnamon. It was delicious and came with a great toffee lattice on top. 
JPB is a bit hidden away but it has amazing city light views, a chic yet relaxed decor and some very impressive produce driven creative food. The use of flora adds colour, flavour and texture so nicely. You will leave satisfied and impressed.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of JPB and Swissotel. Special thanks to Executive Chef Thomas Heinrich for his lovely food, Annika and Emi for looking after us so well and Lauren Kekwick for arranging our visit so capably. 

Jpb on Urbanspoon