Saturday, July 08, 2017

Weekend Cooking: A weekend in Sydney

This week's post could more accurately described as Weekend Eating or Weekend Away than Weekend Cooking, but let's go with this one for now!!

A couple of weeks ago now, my boyfriend and I went to Sydney for the weekend. Ostensibly we went to see the Escape from Pompeii exhibition that is on at the Australian National Maritime Museum. And that is what we did, but we also took the opportunity to do a couple of other things as well, including dinner at Koi Dessert Bar

It was an early start on the Saturday morning. We flew from Melbourne on a 6am flight so I was warned well in advance to expect grumpy BF to be on the plane with me, and that he was planning to be asleep again before the plane took off.

The exhibition was good without being great. I guess, given the title of the exhibition I was expecting it to be more about Pompeii, but it was more about the Roman navy in general with small parts focusing on the attempt to rescue people who were escaping from Pompeii.

What we really enjoyed were the other parts of the museum, particularly the replica of the Endeavour, Captain Cook's ship when he claimed Australia as British territory. We also clambered all through a decommissioned submarine.

One of the things I was really excited to see at the museum was Hartog's plate. I have long been interested in the earlier European explorations that took place, particularly on the west coast of Australia. Hartog was a Dutch sailor who in 1616 was blown off course and landed on some islands where he left a pewter plate. This is the earliest known European artifact in Australia. The original is normally housed in a museum in Holland but for a short time is on loan to Australia. Part of the reason why I am interested in this history goes back to going to visit the Western Australian maritime museum in Perth where they have preserved the shipwreck of a Dutch ship called the Batavia.

We had beautiful weather both days we were in Sydney which hopefully comes through in the photos. It was definitely much better than we had in Melbourne on the same weekend!!

 On the Saturday night we splashed out on dinner at Koi Dessert Bar. Koi is owned by former Masterchef participant Reynold Poernomo and his brothers. It obviously specialises in desserts given it's name but we opted for the 6 course set dinner menu for our visit. The desserts were pretty amazing it has to be said, but the mains were pretty good, although the service felt a bit rushed. For example, we had our first course before the drinks had even been brought out, and then in between one course, the waitress had taken away our cutlery and the next course arrived before she came back with the new cutlery. Also, the mains could have been a bit generous. We didn't walk out hungry, but we also weren't full.

Jerusalem artichoke and mushroom risotto - the bits on the side are dried or fried artichoke. Delicious

Beef Rib with soy potato, cipollini onion, galbi jus and green pear - Could have eaten 3 of these. The meat was so tender

Spanner crab meat with green curry, coconut tapioca risotto and green apple. This was the strongest flavoured dish

Blackberry mousse with freeze dried blackberry, shiso, beetroot gel, yogurt sorbet, and charcoal meringue - My favourite dish of the night. So delicious

I think this was tapioca cake with tonka bean ice cream and aerated chocolate. It was tasty but I preferred the other 2 desserts

Dulce with pear, ginger streusal, yuzu, ginger pear sorbet, pear compote and white chocolate

 I have to say going to a dessert bar with someone who doesn't like ice cream is both a bad and a good thing. (I know....shocking right). I felt bad that there was no ice cream free dessert for him, but then I did get to eat the ice cream that he didn't eat, so I guess I was the winner on the night. Don't feel too bad for him though. I have had to start keeping a supply of emergency cream in the house because he does love cream in any form!!

On Sunday we started with a sleep in and a leisurely stroll before we took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked from under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, around to the Opera House and then kept walking around the edge of the harbour, through the Botanical Gardens and back again, until it was time to jump on the train back to the airport and home again.

Not a bad view from the hotel room

 We are already talking about what we might do next time we are in Sydney so I'd say it was a successful weekend.

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.


  1. What a great post!
    And thank you for the review of Koi, I had no idea you could have dinner there, I thought it was just a dessert bar. (Yes, I am a Masterchef tragic).

  2. Hi Lisa

    I think the set dinner menu is the only savoury food that they do serve there. Other than that it is all desserts, which is of course what they are famous for!

  3. Sounds like an amazing trip! That food does look good.

  4. Too bad the exhibit wasn't more what you were expecting, but the food looks fabulous and I love that replica of Cook's ship. And it looked like you had fabulous weather too. I've never heard of the pewter plate, so that was interesting to me.

  5. What a great trip! Now I want to visit Sydney.

  6. I love your photos, it sounds like a marvelous trip. And I would adore that mushroom and Jerusalem artichoke risotto.

  7. Sounds like a fun week-end, with delicious food! I wonder what a soy potato is?

  8. Captain Cook is quite a fascinating figure -- I'd like to see his ship. Interesting that the restaurant where you ate conforms so firmly to worldwide food trends ... you could be on any continent (except maybe Antarctica).

    best... mae at

  9. What beautiful photos and a great get a way. I visited Pompeii and loved it..

  10. I like ice cream but I don't love it. Cream I am definitely all about.

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