The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 23 October 2009

Sydney eats: Chinese @ Zilver and Spanish @ Encasa

I'm still catching up on blogging about our trip, but this is the last post relating to the trip. We headed to Sydney after our Malaysia trip for another wedding, where we enjoyed a more relaxed itinerary to recover from our busy (and gluttonous) schedule in Malaysia. We enjoyed more 'home' time with my immediate family in the suburbs than going out, but we did make the trek out to the city a few times where we enjoyed good dining experiences.

Zilver Restaurant

Since my immediate family had gathered in Sydney for my sister's wedding, we decided to have an early celebration for Zak's 1st birthday so that my family won't feel like they missed out on his actual birthday two weeks later when we're back in Tokyo. I wanted a banquet-style setting that would be comfortable for a baby, and my Sydneysider sisters suggested a rather swanky Chinese restaurant called Zilver. The restaurant was quite full despite being a week night, and I took this to be a promising sign that the food would at least be good. Dishes are quite pricey for Chinese cuisine, but the food were delicious made from good quality produce.

To start with, we got a BBQ Tasting Platter with barbecued pork, roast suckling pig, roast duck, soy-sauce chicken and jelly fish salad. I enjoyed it, all the different flavours and textures of each type of meat on the one platter. I wanted a claypot dish, and the Braised Pork-stuffed Bean Curd with Pickled Mustard Greens and Peas was a hearty but healthy choice.

Combination BBQ Platter and the Pork-stuffed Bean curd:

Not so healthy but very yummy were the Crispy Skin Chicken with Ginger and Shallots in Soy Sauce and the Sizzling Shredded Beef Peking Style. The crisp-fried chicken skin contrasted the tender flesh, and the shredded beef were very more-ish much like potato fries where you keep going back for more.

Crispy Skin Chicken and Peking-style Beef:

To make up for the not-so-healthy dishes, we had the Braised Seasonal Vegetables Wrapped in Lotus Leaf and Stir fried Scallops with XO Sauce and Snow Peas. Both dishes were cooked well which made healthy eating quite enjoyable.

Vegetables and Scallops & Snow Peas:

Some at the table requested a carbs dish, and the Zilver Chef's Special Fried Rice with Crab Meat and Fried Scallop satisfied that need perfectly. This dish reminded me of the Japanised Chinese-style fried rice you can get in Japan, with stuff in thick sauce served atop the fried rice. After the meal, we enjoyed a Taro Birthday Cake which we'd picked up from a Chinese bakery in nearby Chinatown on Dixon Street. Zak had a little taste of it and enjoyed it a lot!

Special Fried Rice and Taro Cake:

We enjoyed good food and good company that night!


Rob's dad and his wife flew into Sydney from Brisbane for a weekend to spend some time with us. We had lunch on a Friday at Encasa, a Spanish restaurant on Pitt Street. This is another popular restaurant located in a good location, and the waitstaff were kept quite busy during the lunch period, so service was understandably quite slow. However, the waitstaff were friendly and we were given good service. We shared tapas as we sipped on sangria, a red wine punch that was quite sweet and rather enjoyable to drink. We ordered quite a few tapas, and our waiter had to stop us from ordering more than we could finish. Everything were delicious, and the ones that I particularly liked were the scallops and the croquettes.

Glasses of sangria; and Chorizo a la Plancha (grilled Spanish sausage):

Pinchos de Pollo con Mojoy (chicken skewers); and Pinchos Morunos (prime lamb fillet skewers in Moroccan spices):

Albondigas (beef meatballs in almond sauce); and Vieiras en Azafrán (scallops in the shell with saffron, shallot and cream sauce)

Croquettes; and Supreme Pizza:

It was great of Rob's dad and his wife to fly into Sydney just to see us. Once again, we had good food and lovely company!

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