What happens when you chuck four food bloggers into the kitchen of Bistro CBD to cook one course each for 70 guests? It turns out that you get a phenomenal success, as we all found out last night at the Food Bloggers' Dinner as part of Merivale's Feast for the Senses promotion.
We were served up five delicious courses, one from each of the bloggers and one from Bistro CBD's head chef Simun Dragicevich. When we arrived, Fouad, Billy, Karen and Linda were hard at work preparing their dishes in the kitchen, as they had been doing all day and the night before.
To start, we had some sparkling wine which was included in the $60pp price for the dinner, as well as some sourdough to munch on while we waited for dinner to be served. There was an awesome vibe on our table of bloggers since we were all here to support the guys in the kitchen, cheering them on when they came out after their dish was served.
Sashimi of kingfish, avocado, wasabi, lime and soft herbs by Simun Dragicevich, Bistro CBD
The first course was from Bistro CBD's very own Simun Dragicevich. It was a dish of thin slices of kingfish sashimi with clean flavours from the lime dressing. The wasabi and avocado was sparse but added a bit of creaminess and a subtle tingle from the wasabi.
'Shish Barak', A Middle Eastern style dumpling, by Fouad www.thefoodblog.com.au
Fouad was up next with the second course of Shish Barak. These traditional Middle Eastern dumplings filled with lamb had been given a modern twist with the use of gyoza dumpling sheets instead of the usual thick dumpling skin. This, along with the sprinkling of slivered almonds and pine nuts, gave the dish a nice crunchy texture which was delicious with the flavoursome lamb mince filling and the sour yoghurt sauce. Unfortunately the lighting was so poor in the dining room so this photo doesn't do the dish any justice. But trust me, it was great!
"Pork you!", twice cooked pork belly, by Billy www.atablefortwo.com.au
The third course by Billy arrived with an eye-catching streak of pink beetroot jus across the plate. But then my attention was captured by the piece of fatty pork belly which was quivering like a pannacotta as it was put down on the table! The pork was silky and tender, and although I did happen to get one of the pieces with non-crispy skin (which Billy so sweetly apologised to everyone for) it didn't take away from the dish at all. The pork was accompanied by cubes of beetroot, a black pudding soil which had a nice earthy flavour and some apple gel.
Braised beef in PX sherry by Karen www.citrusandcandy.com
It was a miserable rainy night and Karen's fourth course was the perfect remedy. The braised beef cheeks in red wine and Pedro Ximenez with creamy cauliflower puree was warming and the ultimate comfort food. No need for a knife here, because the beef was so tender it fell with the poke of a fork. If I could eat this every night that it was cold and raining I would want it to rain every night :) It was at this point that Yas showed us all that the iPad was a fantastic light source for food photography, and we had a little studio going on with the iPad being held up above one of the dishes while we all snapped away.
"This and That", a combination of Linda's favourite desserts, by Linda www.eatshowandtell.com
Last but not least was Linda's amazing dessert. Inspired from some of her favourite pastry chefs, this dessert was made up of a chocolate brownie with chocolate mousse, a chocolate brulee and chocolate glaze, lemon and olive oil ice cream with a brandy snap and rhubarb jam and crumble. The brownie was rich and decadent, a bit too rich on it's own but when eaten with the rhubarb jam, crumble and the ice cream it was perfect. It was almost so dark I couldn't see what was on my plate so the salt flakes on top of the brownie were a nice surprise. My favourite component was the ice cream which played tricks with my tastebuds, initially tasting like vanilla then leaving a citrus tang on the end, making me wonder what flavour it was (before it was announced).
Congratulations to Fouad, Billy, Karen and Linda for doing such a fantastic job last night and churning out 280 dishes for dinner service! All of the dishes were awesome and I was totally blown away by the food and all the hard work that you put in to come out victorious at the end of it all!
Level 1, 52 King Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9240 3000
Open Monday to Friday, lunch and dinner
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Note: This event also marks the last night of service for Bistro CBD. Simun Dragicevich will go on to open his own restaurant while Jeremy Strode will take over and reopen as Bistrode CBD.