Monday, September 28, 2015

Smooth Festival of Chocolate, The Rocks

How gorgeous is this view of Sydney on a warm, sunny day? No doubt, the weather was keen to join the festivities a few weekends ago where we celebrated our love of chocolate at the Smooth Festival of Chocolate at The Rocks. Sure it may have melted the chocolate but isn't the messiness what makes this indulgent sweet so damn good? More than 60k attending on its Facebook event with Adriano Zumbo and Anna Polyviou can't go wrong!

In the lead up to the event, I got the chance to sample a variety of sweets that will be available on the day. There was also lots of Tim Tams to devour between myself, the family and my Tim Tam obsessed colleagues. One of the sweets in the pack was the Tim Tam special edition Chocolate Banana flavour that will be available for a limited time only at Coles stores from next month. Minions will be thrilled!

Speaking of Tim Tams, I also got the chance to attend the sneak peek of the Tim Tam Temptation tent before it was open to the masses on Saturday morning. There was even a special appearance by Zumbo the man!

There was also the opportunity to watch your fave dessert chef working their magic in the demonstration kitchen. I only got the chance to check out Anna Polyviou and her superstar team making their infamous "Wag-Anna" - a twist on the classic old school Wagon Wheel.

Caramel Wag-Anna, Berried Wag-Anna, Ferrero-reveal N2 gelato ($20.00)

There was also The Chocolatier's Quarters where you can check out this delicious tree artwork made entirely of chocolate by Josophan's Fine Chocolate as well as a robot made entirely from Tim Tams and the chance to sample some more sweets from various producers.

Again, pictures tells more than words so enjoy drooling at all the chocolate in many shapes and forms! One of the highlights was the Zumbo teams competing with their dessert creation. While the Zumbo "cheeseburger" sold out super fast on both days, personally I think they're all winners.

Zumbo "cheeseburgers"

Zumbo "Kebabs"

Nutella ball cake by Zumbo

Black Star Pastry was also very popular with their dessert offerings including the "angel" and "devil" tacos, the chocolate torte and the famous watermelon cake with added white chocolate.

Cakes and sweet mini-tacos from Black Star Pastry

Making the crepes

Very cute cookies from Cookie Crazy


Cronuts from Queen's Pastri House

Oregano Scrolls from Scrollies by Oregano

Churros by Dos Churros

Various sweet delicacies from Choco Samta

Selected eclairs from Passion Tree

Tim Tam espresso martini at the VIP area

Because of the ridiculously insane hype of the overstuffed, extreme milkshakes of late, it was no surprise how long the queues were. Plus it was hot so a milkshake would have gone down a treat *cue a certain friend singing Milkshake out loud*. 

Those notorious extreme milkshakes from The Vogue Cafe

Well that's enough drooling for tonight. Even though it was so packed (unsurprisingly), it was still an enjoyable event where we got to see our fave patisseries creating some new desserts that wouldn't be available in store. Looking forward to more sugary action next year!

Disclaimer: The Random Foodie attended Smooth Festival of Chocolate, courtesy of Nova Entertainment. 

Smooth Festival of Chocolate

Monday, September 7, 2015

Buffalo Dining Club, Darlinghurst

If I can name my favourite Italian restaurants in Sydney, Buffalo Dining Club is guaranteed to be in the top 5. Maybe even top 3. It has been opened for a few years and it's still going strong with lots of people waiting for a table on a Wednesday evening. Even though there were little changes to their simplistic menu over the years, it has still got me coming back again and again to this day.

Scamorza with pumpkin croquettes and cherry tomatoes ($20 including 2 sides)

With the name of the restaurant, it was no surprise that cheese was the main feature of the menu. You can try one of their fresh cheese plates with a choice of two sides. You can choose between buffalo mozzarella, burrata, scamorza (wood smoked cows milk cheese) and caprino (organic goats cheese). The scamorza that I ended up trying was delectable, smoked and stretched. The pumpkin croquettes were soft with a crisp, crumbled coating while the cherry tomatoes was refreshing on the palate. Along with three slices of bread, these ingredients were remarkably tasty together. 

San Daniele Prosciutto ($7 for 30g, $10 for 60g, $15 for 90g)

Similar to their sister restaurant, Chester White Cured Diner, Buffalo Dining Club boasts a small but solid range of cured meats on their menu. The San Daniele prosciutto was sliced so thinly to the point that it melts in your mouth. 

Negroamaro - Tornicola 2013, Salento Puglia Italy ($13/glass, $52/bottle)

Along with the cheese plate, the waiter kindly recommended a glass of Negroamaro from the Puglia region in Italy. Its deep, bitter and bold tones complemented well with the smoked flavour from the Scamorza cheese.

Cacio e Pepe ($20)

My favourite dish at Buffalo Dining Club has always been the classic Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper), which is spaghetti served in a pecorino cheese wheel. You get to check out the waiter carrying that giant wheel of cheese containing the pasta and stirring everything before your eyes. Like a theatrical performance. Everything about this dish was just too good to finish. Served with crumbly chunks of pecorino cheese mixed with parsley, salt, pepper and olive oil, the pasta was filling enough on its own that will keep your tummy satisfied for hours. It's impossible to resist that temptation of trying this dish from the look of that epic cheese wheel alone!

This has been one of those restaurants that has got me wanting more after the visit. All of their dishes are made to share however it is a small venue so a large group might be harder to fit. Looking forward to making more visits to try more of the cheeses, pastas and cured meats to satisfy my constant cravings. 

Buffalo Dining Club
116 Surrey Street, Darlinghurst NSW
(02) 9332 4052
Wed-Sat: 12:00pm - 11:00pm
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