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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 1450 reviews. On Zomato over 18 million views of reviews & photos. On Trip Advisor Level 6, #25 Sydney reviewer, 140,000 readers. Yelp 140,000 viewers in last 90 days. The blog: http://missdissent.livejournal.com/

Joined 27 December 2013 Lilyfield, NSW

  • sub-station cafe

    Cafes Alexandria, NSW
    A tiny café in a converted electrical substation serving organic breakfasts and Single Origin coffee. In here, there?s nowhere to hide if someone doesn?t like your Kashkaval Eggs ($16.50) ? luckily they?ll have you scraping the pan with pleasure. It?s really a brunch destination, with breakfast served all day, but at lunch they have a selection of hearty sandwiches, like the Station Steak Sandwich ($14.00) with scotch fillet steak, grilled haloumi, herb and chilli aioli served on a ciabatta (the bread is sourced from Luxe, but pretty much everything else is made here).
  • Zev's Bistro

    Restaurants Toowoomba, QLD
    From the perspective of a Sydney diner, Zev?s Bistro on Ruthven Street over the course of two visits, is terrific. The look and feel of the place is very contemporary. Sydney is done with long meals and stuffy white tablecloths. We?re mad about Japanese tableware, menus offering three key ingredients, and share plates that allow us to dabble in more dishes. And that's exactly what owner/chef Kyle Zevenbergen has created here. Arriving in a beautifully imperfect piece of Japanese tableware (imported by Melbourne?s Made in Japan) a lunch special of Roasted Whiting ($35) comes with a quality glass of German Riesling that would set you back fifteen bucks in Sydney. The soupy mix of golden fish fillets, explosive pickled tomatoes, salted cucumbers and funky buttermilk is wet and cooling on a scorching hot Toowoomba day. It?s accentuated by an intriguing charry element created by burnt sourdough, making it unlike any fish dish I?ve had before. By contrast, Chicken, Sweet Potato, Raisin, Curried Greens ($26) has a more comforting, sweet British familiarity ? tweaked for a hotter climate - even if it?s not as picturesque on the plate. What Zevenbergen does well is taking familiar things ? carrots, beetroot, asparagus ? and letting you see them in a new light. Beets, Anise Yoghurt, Hazelnut ($17) gives you a medley of treatments of the humble beetroot. It?s cooked sous vide (inside a bag in a water bath), roasted, dried, dehydrated, pickled and then toasted, making it into a leathery beetroot jerky you soften on your tongue. Carrot, Hay Whey, Black Garlic ($17) works the same familiar turf ? and shows off this chef?s comfort with burnt charry flavours. Wines are also a strong suit, with the short list boasting many favourites. The 2015 Giant Steps Chardonnay ($69) is an excellent drinker, and comes without the usual Sydney price tag.
  • Aristotle's

    Restaurants Neutral Bay, NSW
    Summoning the yachting lifestyle of Aristotle and Jackie Onassis, this compact white space is given a luxurious nautical bent with gleaming gold portholes, a padded banquette, and rope rigging running across the room?s aerial space. Spying a fluffy top of Persian fairy floss (pashmak) I was dubious about the Greek Goddess ($17) - sure she looked beguiling, but I was scared she?d be too sweet. Turns out she?s expertly balanced by a blend of Sipsmith Sloe Gin, Campari, Peychaud?s bitters and pink grapefruit, with sparkle added by Greek Prosecco. Load your table up with small share plates ? they?re what this restaurant does best ? starting with fluffy Taramosalata ($9) and an elegant curl of Char-grilled Octopus ($18) simply adorned with preserved lemon, garlic, chilli, parsley and a cheek of lime. Your must-eat is Aristotle?s Haloumi ($16). Topped with ruby red pomegranate, red grapes, oregano, walnuts and a drizzle of honey and balsamic, this puffed haloumi is the most successful version of this dish I?ve tried. Keeping the airy melted cheese warm inside the pan, and passing charred lemon separately (so each diner can balance their own dish), are both strokes of genius. I'm also enamoured with a quartet of flaming sheftalia, or Barbequed Cypriot Sausages ($18). These hand-cut lamb and pork sausages are wrapped in caul fat, and flamed so they?re charry on the outside and textural and pink within. Cigar boxes of Pistachio Baklava Cigars ($9/each) should produce another smile, as you dabble in the yachting lifestyle of the super rich.
  • M & A Butchery

    Butchers Wilberforce, NSW
    Sitting among the turf farms and cabbage plots of Windsor, about an hour?s drive north west of Sydney, you?ll find M & A Butchery. It?s housed in a renovated cottage-style building that dates back to 1889, and sits in front of a working abattoir. It?s a second-generation, family-run butcher with old-fashioned values. Being attached to an abattoir, their business model cuts out middlemen; meaning pricing here is particularly keen. For inner city types like me, that means even if you take into account the petrol used on the fifty kilometre drive out there (and back), you?ll STILL save on Sydney meat prices. On a bustling Saturday morning there are seven or eight butchers manning the counter. They?re framed by an impressive collection of ribbons they?ve gained from the Hawkesbury and Sydney Royal Easter shows. Despite the crowds, and true to the old-fashioned values of this store, the butchers are always happy to take the time to cut something to order, offer cooking tips, or engage in a bit of friendly banter. You can get an eye for what they do well by starting your visit in their well-stocked, self-service cool room. M & A Butchery cleverly prepare packs for all sorts of families, starting at the big end with Whole Rumps ($13.99/kg) and Sides of Lamb ($9.50/kg), and working their way down to single-serve steaks. Four well-trimmed meaty Pork Cutlets ($16.99/kg) set us back around twenty bucks; while a 580 gram Yearling T-Bone Steak ($17.99/kg) that we shared between two people, came in around ten bucks. We turned a trio of meaty Pork Spare Ribs ($12.99) into Korean barbeque at home, feeding two people for under five bucks. Free-range Chicken Breast Fillets ($12.99/kilo) are generously proportioned, with a pack of four weighing in at around a kilo. Everything delivers on both texture and flavour, though none are quite so tasty as their lamb neck, which we tried across chops and in a mini lamb rosette roast.
  • Little Lucifer

    Cafes Forster, NSW
    Despite having a lot of empty tables, this restaurant was flustered by us arriving eighteen minutes before our scheduled booking time. Rather than seating us at another table and revising their seating plan, they left our party of three hovering awkwardly in the doorway. When eventually we were seated, our drink order of two cocktails and a juice required reconfirming. It was a shaky beginning... Things improved when I saw a Corpse Reviver Number 2 ($15) on the menu. It?s rare - even on Sydney cocktail lists - but makes a perfect palate cleanser. The combination of gin, Lillet blanc, Cointreau, lemon juice and an absinthe wash really help to wash away the taste of the day. A slightly too heavy hand with the absinthe throws it out of balance here, meaning we're left preferring the Lucifer?s Old Fashioned ($15) made on Maker?s Mark bourbon whiskey. Rather than a Spanish tapas menu, the dishes on this menu seem to be loosely united by them all having tapas-style presentation. They run from Asian-style sticky pork belly, to Tex-Mex chimichangas, to something called Killer Fried Chicken ($14). The latter presents crunchy chicken strips on a sauce duo they claim is house-made barbeque on aioli ? though it bears strong resemblance to tomato sauce. Perhaps it's just one to please the kids?
    Trio Perfecto ($16.50) dumps a sloppy mix of squid, scallop, prawns and fennel cooked in a sweet sherry sauce onto undressed rocket leaves. It?s muddy and lacks the textural interest you?d expect from fresh seafood. Mexican Chorizo Sliders ($16/2) take chorizo, turn it into patties with a blend of Mexican spices, then teams them with garlic prawns on sweet buns. It?s rounded out with cheese, slices of tomato and paprika mayo. It?s an unusual but tasty blend of ingredients I?ve not seen presented this way before. Tempura Mushrooms ($8) lose button mushrooms inside acres of dense batter, and present them with a soy dipping sauce that lacks subtlety.
  • Suminoya Japanese Restaurant

    Restaurants Sydney, NSW
    Expect to find gas barbeques and a whole lot of industrial hardware hovering over your table when you now come for yakiniku at this longstanding Japanese restaurant. And while there is a cost to the intrigue and aroma that once emanated from this CBD alleyway, the obvious advantage is you can now nip back to the office after a long lunch without your hair and clothes reeking with the tell-tale aroma of barbeque. Beer goes hand in hand with barbeque, and Japanese barbeque is no exception. My favourite is the Koshihikari Echigo Beer ($15/500ml) made from Niigata Koshihikari rice ? the finest rice grown in Japan. A Three Choice BBQ Set ($26.90) here comes with salad, rice and miso soup, offering up a full and balanced meal.
  • Ortem

    Cafes Toowoomba, QLD
    Toowoomba is the home to a large number of cafes, and choosing between them can be difficult for an outsider. Housed in an old ball bearing factory, Ortem exudes the feeling of a likeable community hub. With games like spot the LEGO figurine played out across the café walls and fixtures, it?s clear they?re not prioritising being trendy over more simple fun. Throw in options to share ($1.50) a meal, or have a mini portion for two-thirds of normal price, and you have a café that seems squarely aimed at pleasing the locals. It?s a pleasant change from simply documenting the most ridiculous excesses for an Instagram feed designed to woo in the tourist trade. My dining companion likes variety, so he was delighted to order the mini Big Breakfast ($22 full-size, $14.70 mini), which sounds like an oxymoron, but actually worked very well! He got to pick his way through a moderate amount of smoked bacon, free-range scrambled eggs, mushrooms, a single pork and fennel sausage, half a roasted tomato, a hash cake, and a single slice of toasted cape seed Vienna bread. Fritters ($17.80 full-size, $11.75 mini) reduced the triple stack of zucchini and corn fritters by one. The resulting dish still looked impressive, with two substantial fritters sitting under a poached egg and a garnish of baby spinach leaves, bacon jam, and Persian fetta, scattered crunchy sweet potato crisps.

    The Bruno Rossi Coffee got a bit lost in my milky Latte ($3.90), so if I returned again, I?d definitely ask for strong. And just like the food menu, your beverage is fully customisable by size ? enjoy it by mega, mug or, in my case, simple cup.
  • Pizza Deli

    Restaurants Waterloo, NSW
    You'll find a vibrant mural of a pizza-eating Boston Terrier adorning one wall of this otherwise minimalist, modern space. The mural - the work of Melbourne artist Dan Wenn from 90 Degrees - perfectly reflects both the changing face of Waterloo, and this premium gourmet pizza joint that?s opened to service it. We sit down at one of the communal tables, watching the post-work dog owners parading by through the open, sash-less windows. Their Szechuan Chilli Prawn Pizza ($21/large) impresses on quality and price, with good quality prawns rolled in an (almost too-liberal) amount of the volatile peppercorns. The numbing spices are gentled by a sweet chilli base and a scattering of super-fresh mint and coriander. The pizza?s crust is uniformly golden brown, and each slice holds up well in two fingers. The Beef Cheek Pizza ($20) takes all your home-cooked dinner needs and lays them onto a pizza, with slow-cooked beef cheek, caramelised onion and mozzarella laid onto a cauliflower puree topped base. Greens are taken care of with a scattering of gremolata, and it?s rounded out with a dash of truffle oil. It?s a definite winner; and even with this dense and filling topping, the base holds up to the two finger test.
  • Saffron Restaurant

    Restaurants Merrylands, NSW
    With the logo and menu design both based upon the lilac saffron crocus, it should be immediately apparent that Saffron Restaurant is a Persian restaurant. Saffron is made from the dried stigmas of these pretty saffron crocuses, and employed in a variety of ways in Persian cuisine. The most obvious use of saffron is in the golden Persian saffron rice, which you?ll find served with a chicken kebab - Joje Kebab ($12) - that has the same telltale hue. Koobideh Kebab ($11) gives you the same long grained, aromatic rice with two lamb mince skewers.
  • Originals Burger Co

    Restaurants Brookvale, NSW
    Tucked in amidst the hardware stores, smash repairers and storage unit companies of Brookvale, Originals Burger Co. gave me the first compelling reason to put this suburb my foodie map. Chef Josh Franco ? who you might know from his time in the Aqua Dining kitchen ? draws upon his experience to put out surprisingly well-balanced burgers at a very reasonable price. The Originals Burger ($10.99) starts with grass fed beef with the right amount of fat (for flavour) and fashions it into patties. They're presented in singular form on a burger accentuated by good mustard, tomato sauce, pickles, lettuce, tomato and white onion (I appreciated this detail) and the requisite gooey, golden American cheese. There?s a smear of house dressing - pickled mayo ? that helps make it taste (refreshingly) like what burgers used to be like before a double serve of deep fried everything got jammed inside super-sweet brioche buns. I?m a big fan of the Chicken Burger ($13.99) teaming buttermilk-fried chook, bacon, oozing American cheese and smoky barbeque sauce then balancing it with creamy OG?s blue cheese sauce. It?s presented in a house-made milk bun that isn?t over-sweet. It?s a pleasure to hold this pillowy soft burger in your hands, and stuff it into your mouth. The flavour combination ? sweet, smoky, tangy, creamy - is surprisingly bold, with each of the ingredients speaking in turn. Nailing simplicity, it?s easily one of the best tasting chicken burgers I?ve tried. You?ll also find Josh?s well-balanced blue cheese sauce cooling down the OG?s Hot Wings ($4.99/4). The free-range chicken wings are so well cooked; they fall apart at the slightest prodding under their liberal dosing with house-made hot sauce. Made using Carolina reapers (the hottest chillies in the world), jalapenos, bird?s eye chillies and banana chillis, this is one tasty hot sauce that you can also take home for twenty bucks (you need it). It?s got no preservatives, and comes with an ?extremely hot? heat warning. The wings themselves have a good amount of heat, punctuate them by blue cheese dipped celery stick and a swig of Cascade Spicy Ginger Beer ($3.60).
  • Capriccio Osteria

    Restaurants Leichhardt, NSW
    This sunny, Amalfi Coast inspired spot is a great place kick back with an Aperol Spritz ($13) and watch the world go by on their raised alfresco seating. Throw in a plate of Stacciatella ($14) ? the creamy heart of burrata cheese - topped with dried porcini and hazelnuts, scooped onto their house-made Rosemary Focaccia ($4) and you?ve got your aperitivo sorted. Start with Capesante al Forno ($9/2) ? wood-fired scallops served on the shell - with a Parmesan gratin, a tangle of green shallots and lime wedges passed separately. Risotto ai Asparagi ($25) ? asparagus risotto with crisp Parmesan chips ? remains as a menu stalwart, but didn?t quite sing for me on the night I dined. I was more taken with a vividly green plate of Malfatti ($19). The colour on this plate of pillowy spinach and ricotta dumplings comes from rocket pesto, which intersects well with a hidden layer of lamb ragů. Spatchcock Involtino ($32) gives juicy spatchcock rounds stuffed with black olives and rosemary, and rolled in layers of crisp pastry, easy to share; with their richness cut by a meandering line of green olive dressing. Chocolate desserts aren?t generally my preference, though after the Gianduia Semifreddo ($10) I'm starting to suspect that might be because nobody had thought to introduce me to airy chocolate meringue.
  • Newcastle Markets Co-op Limited

    Farmers Market Sandgate, NSW
    Newcastle City Farmers Market was one of the best markets I?ve visited, with very clear labeling of stalls that identified the ones that were run by genuine growers. While the market normally takes place in Newcastle Showground, I was lucky enough to visit on a Sunday when an event at the showgrounds kicked the market to the beautiful waterfront surrounds of Speers Point Park. My favourite finds on this market visit all came via an Iranian couple, who were making a Persian liteh pickle (pickled eggplant, vegetables and herbs), and some excellent jams. I?ve been using their saffron apple jam, and their carrot, orange peel and almond jam as cheese condiments, as well as on Shepherd?s Artisan Bakehouse toast that I conveniently picked up at the market as well.
  • Bouche on Bridge

    Restaurants Sydney, NSW
    With a discreet gold nameplate as the only indication that this sandstone building has shifted its game from cutting locks to cutting-edge cuisine, it would be easy to walk right by Bridge Street?s newest restaurant resident. What you would miss out on by doing so is a new casual-fine diner hybrid. Looking down upon a somewhat rowdy dining room with exposed brick walls, bistro chairs, and a distinct lack of white tablecloths, chef and co-owner, Harry Stockdale-Powell, is putting out upper class comfort food from a mezzanine loft kitchen. You?ll love Bouche on Bridge if you?re done with degustations, crave less fuss, or if you?re keen to spend less time at the table, all without compromising on things like a great wine list. Juicy Jerusalem Artichokes, Parsley Root, Sheep?s Milk ($22) are cooked sous vide, then tossed on the grill, giving them a wet, smoky edge that plays well against the crisp, the creamy and the vividly green accompaniments. Cloudy Bay Diamond Clams ($34) are plump and briny, but served in a punishingly salty celeriac and beer sauce. It?s an obvious mistake that was addressed well by the gun floor team. We were offered a replacement dish and an explanation - two chefs salted the dish with neither tasting ? and when we refused, it was later removed from the bill without fanfare. Chicken, Hay, White Soy ($29) presents a juicy half bird that had been brined then hay smoked and finally slow-roasted until it achieved an attractive golden skin. It's presented on a chunky puddle of bread sauce seasoned with white soy that you'll want to lap up with a spoon - that is if you can tear yourself away from the Baked Mash ($12). A shared Mandarin, Shortbread, Fennel ($18) did everything we needed from it, after a meal of salty, rich creamy excesses. There were enough elements ? mandarin curd, sorbet, and segments, finely shaved fennel, fennel custard and shortbread crumbs ? to keep our mouths interested, without adding too much bulk.
  • Cooh Alexandria

    Cafes Alexandria, NSW
    Rachel Trevarton and Scarlett Forward have brought their organic, wholefood philosophy from Curl Curl to Alexandria. The name ? in case you were wondering ? is short for a carboxyl group. These ?COOH groups form part of all amino acids, the basis for all life processes. I pop in for weekend brunch, a popular affair even in such a big space, without going to the ridiculous level of overcrowding at neighbouring The Grounds. After inhaling their smooth, house-roasted coffee blend in a Latte ($4) I moved on to cocktails. Breakfast cocktails at COOH are delicious and inventive. Avo-Cooh-Do ($17) takes a mild mannered avocado, pineapple, honey and lime smoothie, then shakes it with chilli, egg white and gold spiced rum. The resulting drink allows you to suck your house deposit in through a straw ? no chewing required. Kooh-Mquat ($15) looks just like a healthy juice ? and it is a super healthy - created from a combination of on-tap kombucha (made inhouse), lemon and lime juices, kumquat syrup and gin. Your house deposit can also be consumed in a lemony corn salsa that comes with a generous serve of Zucchini Buckwheat Fritters ($20); or smashed onto sourdough with Chilli Jam Scrambled Eggs ($18). While the fritters come with a truckload of slightly dry (I suspect this is done as a healthier cooking choice) organic, nitrate-free bacon, if you?re super hungry you can add on a pair of Organic Poached Eggs ($2).
  • Barzaari

    Restaurants Marrickville, NSW
    This Cypriot-Australian restaurant neatly proves that wherever a former Quay chef ? Darryl Martin ? lands, and Durack reviews, Range Rovers will follow. I stuff a brik pastry tube of Tiropikakia ($14/3) into my gob. This exciting reinvention of the humble Greek feta triangle, pleasures all corners of your palate using crisp pastry, feta and ricotta cream, pickled caper leaves, dill, blood orange and pine nuts. It?s an excellent beginning, especially when paired with the 2010 Bella Ridge Estate Chenin Blanc ($76) which is the first Australian Chenin blanc I?ve tried that could give Vouvray pause. The wine list, put together by Dennis Roman, contains wines from many of my Australian favourites - Jamsheed, Collector ? alongside a wide-ranging global selection. There are also cocktails, running from a seasonally appropriate Spring Is In ($17) with vodka, Aperol and grapefruit, served Martini style with a cinnamon rim, to the more all-purpose Yeh Boi Rye Old Fashion ($19) taming rye with caramelised mandarin syrup and bitters. This sort of robust cocktail should hopefully give you a hankering for meat, because all brik pastry snacks side, rotisserie meat is what you?re here for. Wood-Fired Prawns ($23) ? a dish that successfully pits a pricy pair of Spencer Gulf prawns against the richness of skordalia (a silky puree of garlic and potato) and a super-feisty, seeds-in fire roasted chilli - makes me long for bread. Lips tingling, we hold out for the wood-fired pita bread strewn with nigella seeds and lightly brushed with olive oil, which accompanies our Pork Neck ($33). Wrapping moist pig slices, complete with nicely caramelised and charred sections of skin, inside this pillowy soft bread, and passing it from hand-to-mouth, is deeply pleasurable. The salty, meaty intensity does pave the way for dessert, and the Mastic Parfait ($14) will make you feel glad you indulged. Served in the manner of a mille-feuille, it teams a wonderful mastic parfait with layers of compressed watermelon and crunchy kataifi pastry, offset by spirals of candied bitter orange (kitromilo).
  • Kabul House

    Restaurants Merrylands, NSW
    With five years in the suburb, this was the first Afghani restaurant in Merrylands, and where most Afghani people recommend you come to eat. I'm told the décor has changed over time, becoming more elaborate as the restaurant?s popularity grew. What you should come here to try are Mantu ($16/10 pieces) which are lamb mince and onion dumplings, with lovely thin skins just like Chinese dumplings, topped with yellow split pea dal. Afghan dal is a little thicker than the Indian dhal you might be used to. The whole dish is drizzled with yoghurt and sprinkled with dried herbs. You probably want a minimum of two or three dumplings per person. Take them with some traditional Afghan Tea with Cardamom ($3) and perhaps try out the Persian tea drinking method where you hold a sugar lolly in your mouth and drink unsweetened tea through it.
  • Sofra Turkish Cuisine

    Takeaways Toowoomba, QLD
    The busy Sofra dining room is a riot of colour, patterns and textures. Every table is full, and there?s a festive buzz in the air ? though be warned, Toowoomba locals do like to get their evening meal over and done with quite early by Sydney standards. We join the party by getting stuck straight into a Turkish red called Sevilen Kalecik Karasi Plato ($40/bottle). It?s deep red in colour, with lots of up-front berry sweetness that makes Pinot Noir a good reference point for this wine. Keen for some vegetables, we decided upon Mücver ($12.50) a dish that purported to offer zucchini, carrot and fresh herb fritters we would wrap up in cos lettuce leaves with a garlic yoghurt dip. It arrived without the lettuce wraps, and left us feeling a little bloated from eating too much deep-fried. Luckily our side of Turkish Chilli Pickles ($3) worked to aid digestion. Rosemary skewers of Haloumi Cheese ($12.50) with heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs arrived as skewer-less salty wedges of nicely melted haloumi cheese on a small bed of salad. Strangely my Hünkar Begendi ($25) ? a slow cooked beef stew also called Sultan?s Delight - was served on yoghurt rather than the expected smoked eggplant puree. To my eye, this unannounced substitution didn?t really work for the lightly flavoured, tomato-based stew, which wanted something bigger to riff off. My dining companion fared better Karisik Izgara ($30) or mixed grill. What this dish lacked in presentation, it made up for in flavour across adana kebab, chicken shish kebab and lamb shish kebab. We ate it with the accompanying rice, saving our bread to dip in Pomegranate, Olive Oil and Dukkah ($3). For me, the Turkish food here lacks the clarity I?ve come to expect from modern Turkish cuisine. It?s clearly popular with Toowoomba locals, so perhaps I?ve just had the luxury of having my palate spoilt by living inside Sydney?s modern Turkish triangle, its points formed by the famed Somer Siviroglu who has popularised this cuisine at Efendy and now Anason, the newer Stanbuli in Newtown, and Pazar Collective?s less reverent Mexican-Turkish crossover in Canterbury. Where Sofra did excel though was in heartfelt Turkish hospitality that started at the top, and rippled down through their whole service team.
  • Kerasma Souvlaki Merchant

    Restaurants Newtown, NSW
    If the word 'souvlaki' just conjures up visions of late night lumps of meat wrapped with chips in pita bread from a Kings Cross takeaway before Mike Baird ruined Sydney, Kerasma Souvlaki Merchant is going to come as a bit of a surprise. This Cypriot restaurant turns charcoal grilled meats into something quite fancy. More than half of this modestly sized space is taken up with a kitchen, the front part of which houses a charcoal grill. Diners are protected from the heat of the flames by a glass screen, though some tantalising aromas do curl ?round it. Before you become mesmerised by the glowing embers, take a moment to notice the hanging sausages. They?re called Loukaniko ($13.50) and they are cured in house. These pork sausages are soaked in red wine and contain spices like coriander seeds and shino. The latter is only grown in Cyprus, and looks a bit like a peppercorn. Shino has an aromatic and spicy flavour, as do the resulting sausages.

    We eat our well-flavoured sausages as Cypriot mezedes or little delicacies, small plate style, accompanied by an array of dips, salads and bread. We choose Artos ($3/each) though you can have a pita pocket if you?re wedded to those late night souvlaki experiences. The bright orange Sweet Potato Skordalia ($8.50) is smooth and semi-sweet, contrasting nicely against grilled meats. Made from roasted sesame seeds, Tahini ($8.50) is even better, especially against a bright and delicious Tomato Salad ($11.50).

    The Sheftalies ($14.50) we watched cooking earlier are even better than I expected. The skinless pork sausages are wrapped in caul fat that helps ensure they get a good sears from the charcoal grill, while their insides stay moist and juicy. Produce ? like crisp green parsley, and the vibrant, flavoursome tomatoes ? is excellent across the board.

    Wine ? in case you hadn?t guessed from the sausages ? is both enjoyed with food and put to good use as a marinade in Cyprus. The well-priced list here contains a number of Greek wines, with the 2015 Roditis/Malagouzia, Kir Yianni Paranga ($12.50/glass) proving my favourite.

    Now if you go hard with mezedes you should probably consider scaling down to a single shared main. We tackled two, starting with Ofto Kleftiko ($35). This is a summer-style lamb shoulder dish known as the ?thief?s meal?; so named because it was cooked in underground in a pit by Cypriot guerrillas who were keen to avoid smoke alerting the Ottomans to their hideouts. The slow-cooked lamb is dusted with salt and cooked with water, making a gentle broth that suits the accompanying waxy potatoes.
  • Osaka Bar

    Restaurants Potts Point, NSW
    This spot celebrates the dishes of Japan?s second largest city, Osaka, famous for inexpensive street food. It?s the birthplace of Takoyaki ($8.50/8), and the gooey-centred offerings here are the bomb. Just keep your on-tap Suntory Premium Malt ($8.50) handy; they?re served piping hot. You also need to try their pressed, rectangular oshizushi. This Osaka specialty is made using cooked fishes and a less-vinegary rice mix. The BBQ Eel ($18.50) version stuffed with shitake mushrooms then topped with cucumber, egg and chives, proved excellent, and much easier to handle with chopsticks. Konamomo ? flour-based dishes ? including tasty Ika-yaki ($8.50) squid pancakes, are also popular with the people of Osaka.
  • Ester Restaurant and Bar

    Restaurants Chippendale, NSW
    Still a great restaurant. Popped in for a fifth visit on Wednesday night, restaurant had every table and bar seat full. Blood sausage sanga still as good as the first time. Also tried an amazing fermented potato bread with salmon roe, yabbies with a sauce that reminded me of Singapore chilli crab, and a cos lettuce salad which had me cooing over a great coriander oil dressing. Wine list produced an interesting Marsanne for under $75. Would happily dine again.