People who know us really well know darn well that we are a huge fan Nilgiri’s. This is the place I write about excessively on my food blog VegFusion and this is the place we take our guests and friends because we know that we’ll be looked after very well by Ajoy Joshi and his lovely wife Meera.
This time round, we took Berfu there for an exquisite meal and it was her first time at an Indian restaurant at this caliber. We asked if there was a favourite dish that stood out during the night, she said “They were all fantastic dishes, I can’t really pick one!” She loved them all basically.
Here’s what we had on the night:
Pappadums and Dips (lemon pickles, raita of the day, sweet mango & nigella marmalade)
Cauliflower and Broccoli Pakoda
Bharwan Mirch (paneer-filled banana chilli, spinach batter, garlic chutney)
Moong Dal Samosa (pepper-flavoured pastry, spiced mung lentils, mashed potatoes, tamarind chutney)
Zeera Aloo (chat potatoes, cumin & green chillies)
Achari Gobhi (cauliflower florettes, ‘pickling spices’ nigella & cumin, mustard oil & fresh ginger)
Sukhe Baingan Tamata Tari (baby eggplant, coriander tamarind and dry coconut sauce)
Sometimes, we have late breakfast or brunch at Delante on Sundays. We love the place and their vegetarian breakfast options, too. This time, we took Berfu with us and she enjoyed her pancakes.
It’s just us girls tonight. So, I picked up some sushi, gyozas, pickled ginger and beancurd wraps.
Berfu is the daughter of a very good friend of mine. She’s staying with us at the moment, attending English classes and most of all enjoying Sydney to the fullest.
On one of those days we decided to go out and do some shopping, have lunch at Bodhi in the Park and visit Hyde Park. Sydney has a lot to offer. Here’s some of the photos…
We asked a nice lady to take our photo. She was quite creative with it as we have many photos to prove it.
Sydney Hyde Park
Bodhi at the Park. This is where we had vegan yum cha.
I am definitely J. J. Abrams of food photography. Look at the lensflare. I mean add a few spaceships, you have sci fi movie. He would’ve been so proud of me.
These apple pies were awesome.
St Mary’s Cathedral
Berfu, outside St Mary’s Cathedral.
Finally, Berfu finished and submitted her thesis and we decided to celebrate at Harvest Vegetarian Restaurant with a bottle of Italian wine Elif (Berfu’s mother) sent for us (as seen in the photo below).
John had the same dish again because he can’t help himself (English Spinach and Kumara Gnocchi served in a Lemon and Garlic Cream sauce).
I had Nutty Leek and Cheese Tart (Handmade puff pastry with a combination of Gruyere, Mozzarella, Fetta and Parmesan cheeses with Walnuts and Lemon Thyme and served with Ratatouille)
The funniest event of the night was that we were trying to take a selfie. Someone from the next table told us that one of the guys sitting closer to us could take our photo. So, he did take our photo after struggling with John’s phone. You’re allowed to laugh as we did 🙂
That’s me but not all of me 🙂
Purpose of this photo? I don’t know but you can’t complain as it would’ve been like the one before that.
After having this divine dessert in Vienna in 2015, it was interesting to see it at an Austrian cafe in Queen Victoria Building (QVB). It has always been my favourite building here in Sydney.
The verdict? It was more like a very rich chocolate cake whereas the original was well balanced and much lighter. Initially I thought, this Austrian cafe might be the only place to have sacher torte outside Vienna but I have just discovered that our local French patissier makes sacher torte as well. I think I’ll try theirs, too. Then make a decision.
It goes without saying: we absolutely LOVE Bentley’s Bar and Restaurant. We always get looked after incredibly well there. This time in particular. Let me explain…
We arrived unannounced without a booking. Still, a table was arranged. It was the same menu as before so we asked if they could whip up a different main dish for us. There was a discussion in the kitchen between their wait staff including the wine connoisseur and the head chef. And again, it was no problem. We were told that pine mushrooms were in season so they added pickled pine mushrooms to our main dish. The starters were no problem as we decided to have each other’s pick from last time.
Another fantastic occurrence was that our favourite waiter Guillaume was there as well. He always makes it so special for us. God bless his French heart 🙂
Complimentary nibbles (above and below)
Remember this from our previous visit?
Our customised main dish (below)
I recently found a copy of Bentley’s cookbook on Book Depository. Even though it’s not a vegetarian cookbook, I am hoping to extract some techniques and get inspired around unique flavour combinations and extensive use of interesting ingredients.
John’s dessert (above). I didn’t have one. Instead, I had another glass of port.
This was a birthday surprise for Dad during his visit to Sydney. We kept it quiet pretty much until the day. Dad thought we were going to have a drink or two with our hosts.
It turned out that Ajoy and Meera hosted us at their own place for the night. Ajoy cooked us some fantastic food for all of us and Meera lent her opinion every now and then.
Lads and me.
Dad is a huge fan of Ajoy’s food as well as him as a person. Everyone enjoyed themselves. Thank you Ajoy. Thank you Meera…
When John and I first introduced to Chatkazz, one thing we both agreed was the fact that Dad would enjoy this place. We put this idea to test when Dad arrived in Sydney. And it is safe to say that we were right: he LOVED it.
Here, dad is taking a photo of the gigantic menu to show Mum.
Even though nobody makes Pani Puri (above) like Gujju’s Smita in Melbourne and not many Indian places have it on their menu, it is one dish (starter actually) we have to have if the opportunity presents itself. Luckily, Pani Puri is on Chatkazz’s menu.
Apart from Pani Puri and Sabudana Vada (above), we also had or repeated the same order as last time to be precise, Chhole Bhatura, Dahi Puri and Chinese Bhel on the day. Once again, Chinese Bhel was the star of the day.
And that’s us. John took our very own selfie on the day. I don’t have an upper lip, do I? 🙂
We went back to Bentley’s Bar and Restaurant on Friday night. I wasn’t going to take photos to write a review because I did that not long ago. I didn’t even take my low-light-handling-well-camera with me. But, the food and the staff were fantastic. So, I couldn’t help myself. Here’s what we had from Bentley’s a-la-carte menu:
My starter: Carrot + Chamomile + Buttermilk + Grapefruit
John’s starter: Charred Onion + Wood ear mushroom + Brussels sprouts
This is the only vegetarian main dish on the menu: Beetroot + Black rice + Blackberry + Purple kale
John’s dessert: White chocolate parfait + Pear + Saffron + Cashew. This was recommended by Guillaume and John said it was fantastic.
Complementary sweet nibbles, thanks to Guillaume.
In short, I can say that Bentley’s Bar and Restaurant and their fantastic staff did it again!