We’ve been going to Umi at Darling Park as it still has an opening special – $3.60 per plate except for the expensive black ones.  The food is good quality and the sake range is good and they come in different sizes.

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Salmon Shashimi

We decided to get some shashimi and got a salmon from the fish market. I did a filleting course some time ago at Chef’s Armoury at Waterloo. Leigh, the owner is a Jap-phile(??) and runs a great shop. The filleting course is fantastic. At the end of the 1/2 day course, after learning shashimi filleting, you get to keep the whole king fish. This course is great as a birthday gift or for a group of friends who want to try the course.

An incision made at the top.

The cutting helps with a sharp knife. I bought the deba knife from Chef’s Armoury. The blade is razer thin.

The cutting was a little rough.

The other side was then filleted.

And packed away to the freezer for weekly doses of omega 3. We’ve tried this before and after thawing, the flesh remains fresh and keeps the bright pinkish/orange colour.

The bottom half was cut off.

Leaving the prime cut for shashimi.

Skinning. This takes a lot of practice to get right. A sharp knife also helps.

We got 4 chunks of salmon shashimi out of this. Each chunk is more than enough for 2 people. I read somewhere that the salmon will taste better if you “age” it over night. In deed, the othe chunks do taste a little better the next night.

That night, we had salmon, snapper and scallop shashimi for three people with a bottle of saki. So a whole salmon gives a lot of food.

In true Asian fashion, the head wasn’t thrown away. Leigh showed how to pepper, salt and baked the head in an oven for about 15 minutes. You can pick the flesh with some soy source. We had this the next day as an entree and it was fantastic.

My dad usually eats the eyeball as well.

Kingsley Steak House

We had a voucher for Kingsley Steak House on King St in the city. This was great value. 2 steaks, any glass of wine from the menu and complimentary bread too. All for $69. Th waiter was attentive and kept the kids happy with some colouring books.

Complimentary bread.

I had a sirloin. It was cooked just right.

The kids shared a petit fillet.

Friend of ours had the t-bone.

We were quite full and walked to Darling Quarter for hot chocholate. The kids got their sugar hit and went craxzy at the little playground.

Street Art Bourke St Bakery

Just a walk around the street from Bourke St Bakery at Surry Hills.

Sydney Festival First Night

The city was closed to traffic for a night as part of the opening of the Sydney Festival.  This was so much more fun than New Year’s Eve.  With NYE, everyone had the mission to secure a vantage point for the fire works.  With First Night you just wandered around listening to great music, artwork and performances.

Hyde Park was a big dance party.  Best to turn off the phone and enjoy.

Weird and wonderful artworks were here and there.

Performances were everywhere.  And we decided to follow the big crowd to Martin Place.  This year it was a jazz band.

Swing jazz just makes everyone hip and happy.

Morena, Talor Square

Just prior to Xmas, we caught up with some friends at Morena, a Sth American restaurant near Taylor Square in a relatively new apartment complex with fancy restaurants downstairs.
The menu included alpaca. Yes they are cute and docile but we couldn’t resist, maybe for once. We picked the degustation menu along with the matching wine for an extra $30. The wines turned out to be tasty and great value and we wondered if we could just have the matching wine on its own the next time.

This was a quick appetizer and it was good to start off.

Scallops were next and they were cooked just right.

This was a plate of differnt corns.  Some were the size of my thumb.  They are pretty bland on their own but kinda worked well with the cheese and tomato.  Interesting experience.




KingFish Carpaccio.







Barramnudi lightly fried.  The skin was crispy.  The flesh was great.

Vegtarian forest with cous couse, potato chip and all sorts of beans, of course.  This was once again a good dish.
Finally, the alpaca.  Backstrap and shoulder.  It tasted a lot like venision.
We finished off with a pudding dessert and it was a good finish.

Xmas Leftover


We had leftover:

smoked ham


cabonara sauce

tomato paste

double brie





Whacked it all into a pan and did a simple pasta.  Wasn’t sure how the paste would go with the white sauce.  It turned out to be quite good.