Archives for category: Truffle Pig Watering Holes

Are you wondering where to go for Oktoberfest in Sydney? Well, I have kindly volunteered to do some market research to help you find the best place to go. My suggestion, pork knuckle down and get to Löwenbräu Keller!

Perched upon Argyle Street in the Rocks, Löwenbräu Keller is the perfect venue for a few liters of beer and a good hearty meal.  They prides themselves on being the most authentic Munich restaurant in Sydney, and the historic cobble stone streets add a touch of charm while you’re playing make-believe wishing you were really in Munich celebrating Oktoberfest.

Löwenbräu Keller has two areas, the outside tables which are perfect for lapping up the daylight savings sun or the traditional Bavarian beer hall bar inside and down stairs. The service is typical German – serious, punctual and dressed in ledenhosen and beer wench dresses. Cheesy and cliché, what more would you want in a German restaurant during Oktoberfest?…. probably beer and food.

There is an extensive beer (Bier) menu with Oktoberfest specials coming in all shapes and sizes, but mostly in the traditional 1 litre beer mug. Get in the spirit and order the Bowenbrau Oktoberfestbier – a full-bodied brew with a hint of spice which will get you feeling very festive. As for the good, if you’re on a diet don’t even bother. If you like rich, creamy, fried food – you have come to the right place.

I opted not to go for the famous pork knuckle although I fully intended to before I arrived, but it was huge and looked like too much admin for my liking. Given I was a little tipsy I opted for an easier-to-eat pork belly served with braised cabbage, roast potatoes and jus. The pork belly was everything pork belly should be – a tender, juicy, fall-apart-in-your-mouth piece of belly topped with a crisp, golden piece of crackling. I could almost feel the roasted fat residing on my thighs immediately. But when in  Germany (or The Rocks), you must do as the Germans do. The chicken schnitzel covered in mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes was just as heart-stopping delicious.

If you’re feeling more like a pig than you are a German, never fear, Löwenbräu Keller have a roaming live German band there, yodeling for your entertainment so you can dance the calories and night away….

The Bitter: Probably more than I would have liked to pay, but you only get to celebrate Oktoberfest once (a year)

The Sweet: Service, schnitzel and shameless stereotypes

The Damage: Liter of beer, huge meal and cardiac arrest will cost about $50 per person.

Oink Oink,

Truffle Pig.

Löwenbräu Keller – 18 Argyle St, The Rocks – Sydney, NSW – lowenbrau.com.au

Lowenbrau Keller on Urbanspoon


Bondi Hardware might be unassuming from the outside but on the inside you will find a feast, fun and fruity cocktails. This place is loved by locals and lots of women who are single and ready to mingle, trying to land a lad and some hardware. So, if you want to snag a seat on a Friday night or weekend, book ahead.

The best way to kick off the afternoon or evening is with a Vale Ale, which they have on tap. This is easily my favourite beer  of all time which hails from the vineyards of South Australia’s McLarenvale district and it has a pinch of passionfruit. Whist sipping on those I suggest you work your way through the menu. The calamari is perfect picking food as are the beer battered chips with roasted garlic aioli.

Once you’re ready to really let your hair down there is an extensive cocktail menu that will leave you sufficiently pleased and pissed. My suggestion would be the Expresso Martini. Just when I thought the cocktail couldn’t get any better, then I tasted Bondi Hardware’s vanilla twist. The bold and bitter cocktail will give you plenty of energy to see you through your main course. The wood fire prosciutto pizza is simple but more than satisfying, infact it is my favourite. Make sure you take a mate or date so you can also order the sliders. Sliders are a revolutionary concept I have embraced with open arms and mouth. You can have two burgers in one sitting without wait staff judging you. Thank you Mr. Slider, I love you.

The interior is as pleasing and comfortable at as the food. The harsh exposed brick covered in tools is softened with pot plants hanging from the walls and roof, worn down candles and polished wood. The front half of the restaurant is open, airy and lit by the large bay windows and sky light. The back-end of the bar is dark, cosy and the perfect place to snort sweet nothings….

The Bitter: Like any Bondi bar you will come across some tools, fitting given the name

The Sweet: Sweet, small, succulent sliders….. and super nice, smiling service

The Damage: For drinks and tapas to share you’re looking at about $60-$70 per pig.

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

Bondi Hardware – 39 Hall St – Bondi Beach, NSW 2026

Bondi Hardware on Urbanspoon

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Everyone loves to travel, whether it be to the romantic boulevards of Paris, the rugged Rocky Mountains, or the bustling streets of Vietnam. Usually the fondest memories of any trip are wandering the streets by hoof and tasting the delicious delicacies – enjoying ridiculously good meals that don’t break the bank.

Rejoice! You don’t have to daydream of your favourite far-away food any longer; you can pigtail it up to Libertine for lunch and enjoy their new street food menu. The new dishes will take you back to the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City without the suspicious smells and a billion cyclists about to knock you over. Your palate will also be treated to a pinch of Paris, but the Libertine staff won’t turn up their snouts should you fail to pronounce “plus de fromage” in native tongue.

In true Libertine style, the plates are perfect for sharing with friends, but there are also some options for those pigs flying solo (or too hungry to share!), like the pork ball baguettes or traditional Vietnamese salad bowls.

Deep fried black pepper tofu – I encourage all the tofu sceptics to give this dish a go. You won’t regret it when you bite through that crunchy peppered batter to discover the silky smooth goodness inside.

Steamed Mushroom Dumplings – Don’t underestimate these cute little bundles of joy. Inside the neat little package you will find seven types of mushrooms glazed in butter, with a side of soy for dipping. Ah-maz-ing!

BBQ Pork Ribs – Get ready to get those trotters dirty. These fall-off-the-bone ribs are marinated in an Asian bbq sauce that makes me salivate at the thought of it, and topped with herbs and fried garlic.

Tempura Soft Shell Crab – Don’t expect those skimpy little bits of crab meat you find elsewhere here; these delicately battered crabs are huge and perfectly accompanied with wasabi mayo.

Crispy squid – Another sensation from the sea, with perfectly crisp batter covering the tender tentacles, teamed with grilled lime, chilli jam and garlic aioli.

Duck Pancakes – Duck pancakes are always a crowd favourite and these are no exception. The coriander and turmeric pancakes hug the honey-lathered duck to create perfect parcels you won’t want to stop eating.

You can head to Libertine to satisfy your street food cravings from 11:30am Wednesday through to Sunday.

The bitter: I work in city, so unfortunately can’t make the most of this lovely lunch during the week
The sweet: The ribs are to succulent, sweet and finger licking good!
The damage: You won’t be paying more than $20 for any of these delicious dishes!

Oink Oink,

Truffle Pig

Libertine – No. 5, The Barracks. 61 Petrie Tce. Brisbane – www.libertine.net.au

Libertine on Urbanspoon

My “Frequent Noodler” card from Wagamama gets abused more than my credit card during stocktake sales – I jump at any opportunity to enjoy a gyoza, raman and edemame. But my last visit was a little different to my usual “37 and a 99” midweek lunch but a very sophisticated Sake Master Class run by the super friendly Sake master himself, Toshi Maeda.

Before our official class I was already on the Sake bandwagon after tasting the sparkling, surpisingly sweet and easy to palette for a non-sake savvy pig. From there we got a full tutorial on how sake is graded, how it is made and how to drink it. So from what I can gather here is how it goes:

Sake = ground rice = starch + sugar + add yeast + turns to sake = drunk pigs!

The flavours are interesting – some tasting like honey, others like melon and one that just tasted like burning. The sparklings and chilled sakes were my favourite and were perfectly accompanied by the new Wagamama menu specificly designed for their recently refurbished lounge area hanging off the new and very la-de-da Wintergarden where pigs can find high end fashion and seriously good food.

So now my favourite ramen and gyoza resturant, Wagamama, has now extended its offering to more than just an in-and-out eatery but a place to have an after work sake, some edemame and another excuse for me to claim all my friends points on my frequent noodler card – I am happier than a pig in poo!

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

Wagamama Wintergarden – Queen Street Mall – http://www.wagamama.com

 

Wagamama (Wintergarden) on Urbanspoon

I have heard a lot of buzz about 1889 Enoteca but had always feared I may not be high brow enough to go to such a beautiful restaurant with a wine list longer than the Bible. I love wine, and lots of it but can only distinguish red from white, and good from great. But I decided to brave the brows and trot on in wearing some stilettos when my friend invited me to a special event with the owners.

All my pig preconceptions flew out the window within minutes – I was expecting over the top glass wear and decor sterile enough to be a hospital, but 1889 Enoceta was the exact opposite. Cosy, earthy and reminiscent of a quaint Roman restaurant built before our time. The personality of this place is far from pretentious but a mecca for all those that love italian food and wine which begs the question, why have I not been here before?

Guests were treated to appretivo upon arrival, a traditional italian meal that pretty much translates to ‘snacks to tie you over between lunch and dinner’ – genius. The night got even better when we migrated down to the cellar which is adorned with all of Italy’s best wines on an exposed brick back drop. The room is authentic, warm and a perfect place to share with your favourite pigs for any kind of celebration.  Now to the food………..

1889 Entocea is not just italian food, but Roman food. The philosophy of the Romans I am told is to use only a couple of ingredients in each dish – always fresh, good quality and sourced locally wherever possible. It is no wonder the Romans ruled the world because their food is phenomenal so when in Rome, do as the Romans do! Here is the run down of the feast I was treated to:

PRIMI

  • Red claw yabby, tomato, eggplant & caper salsa – sweet, fresh and tasty
  • Potato gnocchi, pork & fennel sausage, black truffle tapenade – this is SPECIAL and it’s no surprise its their signature dish, I am not ony saying that because of the inclusion of truffles, although they were spectacular

SECONDI

  • Market fish, radicchio with caper, salsa verde – not usually a fish fan but this had me going back for seconds
  • Roast pork, lemon and caper – so simple and so scrumptious

CONTORNI

  • Mixed leaves, green beans, roast potatoes, garlic, rosemary – all dressed and seasoned to perfection!

DOLCI

  • Espresso soaked savoiardi, mascarpone & chocolate – none of my teeth are sweet but I devoured every last drop of this
  • Vanilla panacotta, fig, biscotti – I didn’t get a chance to taste it but judging by the “mmmm”ing from the people next to me, it must have been equally as delicious.

I can’t tell you much about the wine because I am no expert but both the red and white fell in the “great” category and I fell in love with the sparking wine (2010 La Stoppa Malvasia, Emilia-Romagna, Italia), although that love affair ended in a head ache the next morning.

I was also lucky enough to meet the brains behind the operation, Dan Clark who was happy enough to not only share his restaurant, food and wine with me but answered a few of my questions.

  1. What is your food philosophy? Great ingredients, prepared simply
  2. Why Italian food and wine? I love the diversity and tradition in both the wine and food of the different regions of Italy
  3. Your favourite things about Italian food, wine and culture? I love that food and wine are an integral part of their everyday life. They have fun with it and that is what I really enjoy.
  4. What would be your death row meal be? Bucatini all’amatriciana followed by a tiramusi al bicchiere
  5. What is the most fun thing about feeding people? Watching people have fun. When the restaurant is loud you know everybody is having a good time
  6. 1889 Enoteca in three words? Real Roman food
  7. If 1889 Enoteca were a pasta what would it be and why? I think it would be the classic Roman dish spaghetti alla carbonara. Simple, delicious and unpretentious
  8. If you could feed one person in the world who would it be? The Pope.
  9. Red or white? Orange (white wine fermented on its skins)
  10. Pizza or pasta? Definitely pasta

So all you italian lovers do not fear the white-collar reputation of this little piece of Rome tucked away in Woollongabba. You are welcome whether you want a three course dinner with endless wine, a private function in the stunning cellar or just a beautiful bowl of gnocchi after work.

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig

1889 Enoteca – 12 Logan Road, Woolloongabba QLD – www.1889enoteca.com.au

1889 Enoteca on Urbanspoon

Absolute river frontage, beautifully polished timber decks, clean glass, chilled wine and the scent of delicious food wafting throughout….. I felt like I was in my dream house but I was actually at Stokehouse.

Stokehouse seems to have divided the masses since it’s opening – some pigs love it and those pigs who are unsure might want to try this place again. The service is friendly, attentive and accommodating – they gave us table in a fully booked restaurant and rearranged it so all the pigs had views of the river and city.

I felt like a pompous, polished pig sipping on some sauvignon blanc while enjoying my crayfish cannelloni, blanched buttery beans and a bowl of shoe string fries (so perhaps I wasn’t completely polished). I also tried the duck which seems to be there signture dish and scallop risotto whcih was on the specials menu, neither of which I turned my snout at.

On my second visit to Stokehouse, for another lazy Sunday lunch I indulged in a few cocktails – the Bloody Mary was delicious, the perfect blend of spice, citrus, booze, juice and ice and left me feeling very at ease when I tucked into my rich bolognaise ragu with perfectly prepared home made pappadella pasta. Despite being more than satified the food envy set in when I tasted the angel hair pasta with prawns, mussels and  calamari and the Gold Band snapper but it has just given me another excuse to return to my new favourite house.

Stokehouse Brisbane is the perfect place to part with your piggy pennies to enjoy a long lunch on a Sunday for ‘Stoked on Sundays’. You can rub hams with all of Brisbane’s prettiest pigs, listen to the DJ on the decks and bask in each others beauty.

The Bitter: A few pretentious pigs prancing around the place.

The Sweet: Finally a place in the “River City” where you can actually sit on the river!

The Damage: White table-cloth restaurants always bruise the bank account. A glass of wine, main and sides about $70 each – worth every penny.

Oink oink,

Truffle Pig.

Stokehouse – Sidon Street, South Bank QLD  –  www.stokehousebrisbane.com.au

Stokehouse Brisbane on Urbanspoon