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Miss Dissent Local Star

Food writer for the last decade, Miss Dissent writes Does My Bomb Look Big In This?, which is Sydney's most comprehensive food blog. You'll find well over 1500 reviews. On Zomato over 19 million views of reviews & photos. On Trip Advisor Level 6, #22 Sydney reviewer, 145,000 readers. Yelp 140,000 viewers in last 90 days. The blog: http://missdissent.livejournal.com/

Joined 27 December 2013 Lilyfield, NSW

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  • La Rosa Bar and Pizza

    Restaurants Sydney, NSW
    It?s been three years since I last had the pleasure of dining in The Strand Arcade at La Rosa. It?s a slick and sophisticated spot, even if it does play second fiddle to its better-known sibling, Pendolino, at the other end of the ornate, Victorian arcade.

    Separated from the restaurant by a dark screen, the bar is a cosy and intimate place to enjoy wine or a well-crafted cocktail. The Speyside Sour ($23.80) presents Glenfiddich 12-year old single malt under a frothy head of lemon, sugar, Angostura bitters and a twist of lemon rind that?s been expertly cleaned of all pith. The Cocold Old Fashioned ($19.70) tarts up the classic drink with chocolate bitters, topping it with fine flakes of chocolate and another textbook twist, this time, orange.

    While there is a bar menu, we hold out for dinner, so are hungry by the time we?re moved to our assigned table in the long, red-roofed room. Fast moving, black-clad staff quickly get us started on a Laissez Faire ?Field Blend? ($82.60) of pinot grigio, gewürztraminer and pinot blanc from Western Australia?s Great Southern. We fret a little on the Pane Basket ($5.95), which takes a bit longer to arrive.

    The basket's warm pizza crusts are however enjoyable against the Vignarola Salad ($17.80). For a salad, it has a very inviting list of ingredients ? zucchini flowers, almonds, onion, quail eggs, fennel, artichoke, and organic Gorgonzola ? but the naughtier bits are in moderation, so it?s still a healthy dish. Truth be told, I did pine for more organic Gorgonzola, and I don?t think I saw any zucchini flowers (though they are out of season).

    The cool night intrigued me into ordering the fish pie ? Tiella Di Gaeta ($38). The petite, open-topped pastry pie arrives under a fish skin sail. It's filled with a creamy mix of Gaeta barramundi, salt fish and turnip, and sits on a green circlet of turnip top greens (cime di rapa). Both size and saltiness make sides a requirement for this dish.

    The Cetriolo E Schiacciate ($12) with cucumber, crushed green olive, parsley, black grain and Parmesan was useful, but dominated by cucumber. I?m so-so on the trendy black grain addition too, preferring the more plain cucumber and green olive salad I ate on my last visit. Salad is also suitable for a square of Lasagne Al Fondo E Finferli ($39.75). While this lasagne is pricy, the spend is evidenced in the blend of good quality pork and White Rocks veal.

    Our Zeppola ($16.50) arrives with a flourish: warm, caramel sauce poured at the table by staff. Taken with a Piccolo Latte ($4.30), the sugar-dusted traditional potato doughnut topped with vanilla gelato, turns out to be my meal highlight in this space that continues to exude a sophisticated, date-night vibe.
  • Plage

    Restaurants Cremorne, NSW
    After discovering his French-Japanese cuisine at S'Age Bistronomy, I followed this chef to his first solo venture: Plage. His fledgling restaurant sits a short walk from the Hayden Orpheum in Cremorne. It's a two-room affair with the front white-curtained room playing host to tables and a curved white bar that you can also choose to eat at. We're tucked into a corner of the cosy back room. We're here to take advantage of the well-priced opening special - a five course Chef's Selection Menu ($59/head) - running until Saturday 12 August 2017.

    The Plage team are also generously allowing BYO ($8/bottle) even on a busy Saturday evening. We take advantage of this opportunity to match our meal to two different sakes. Yuki quickly arranges us four sake glasses and our tasting adventure is off and running.

    We begin with a flavoursome amuse bouche of roasted potato broth with medium rare scallop. Over delivering us some house-made bread and butter, Yuki asks us how we come to be at Plage, then thanks us warmly "for being a fan of my husband." From her sparkling eyes and enthusiasm for the she's presenting, it is clear Yuki is a big fan of Tomoyuki's cooking too.

    Our meal proper begins with a clean and simple salmon tataki presented with daikon radish, crisp dehydrated kale and a dab of spiced yoghurt. We move on to what will undoubtedly be the restaurant's future signature - wagyu carpaccio - presented with a dashi broth that is poured onto the thin slices of raw beef at the table. The heat of the broth turns the red slices slightly brown as they gently cook before your eyes. The process envelops your head in an aromatic cloud, making your mouth water in eagerness to taste the wagyu beef and the cured egg, pumpkin seeds and mushrooms the slices hide. It's texturally pleasing and likely to have you tilting the bowl to spoon out every last drop of the broth and floating pumpkin seeds.

    Western Australian mulloway scrubs up well against seasonally appropriate Jerusalem artichokes, cleverly cooked in their skins. The fish is offset by a dabs of celeriac puree and finger lime, and united by a fish and lemon jus.

    As the wait drags on for our next course, my dining companion is driven a little mad by the fifth repetition of Blue Bayou. We're offered more bread and an apology both for the delay and for the music, which is quickly switched to reggae. The restaurant is quite busy, with both chefs galloping around the small kitchen. They make regular trips into our room to use the vacuum sealer, which accounts for the perfectly set protein in our next course - roasted chicken breast. This was probably the most disjointed of the dishes we tried. While individual elements like the sous vide chicken, maple glazed carrots, broccolini and pickled cherry slices were good; the burnt buttermilk sauce needed more oomph to give the dish unity. The fried cartilage was texturally interesting, but added nothing in terms of flavour.

    Texture and flavour were in perfect harmony however in the caramelised white chocolate finale. It's offset by fizzy pink peppered meringue, tart nectarine sorbet and chamomile, and will send you off into the night with a smile on your face. While my meal's pacing was off, it's easy to forgive with dessert like this on your lips, a reasonable bill, and an eye to it being Plage's third week.
  • Paradise Floor Coverings

    Flooring Kingsgrove, NSW
    Paradise Floor Coverings are an extremely shonky company. They did a carpet in the place I rent and even the owners agreed it was so badly finished in one room they had to come back and repair it. Cue them making three appointments they subsequently don't show up for (or give me any notice that they won't be coming on necessitating me to call them every time), and then have the hide to give me attitude about "everyone knows Sydney traffic" when I suggest it's poor business practice. Would not recommend at all.