Ester, Sydney

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Ester. Currently one of the hottest restaurants in Sydney that just won the Best New Restaurant of the Year award from Sydney Good Food Guide 2015. It’s one of those gems that puts the neighborhood Chippendale onto the foodie map.

Inside, you will find a warm, intimate room with high ceilings and an industrial, minimalist interior. The real star of the show is the huge wood fire oven which is on full display in the open kitchen, where chef Matt Lindsay is heading his team.

The concept of dining here is that dishes are meant to be shared. With all the mouthwatering options and my lack of decision making skills I’m always in for sharing to taste as much different things as possible. Apparently I’m not the only one with this problem since the sharing is caring concept is big in a lot of restaurants nowadays. And maybe we’ve grown to adore the communal experience more as well.

My personal highlight of the evening was the wonderful dense, dark, blood sausage with mustard aioli, caramelized onion en coriander you have to squish together and enfold with a warm steamed bun. Another exciting sausage to remember..  After my amazing blood sausage adventure at In de Wulf I want to try it everywhere now, who would have thought I would actually become a fan!

As a sweet tooth the salted caramel semi-freddo, dusted with black sesame sugar is in my favorites as well. Not overly sweet, definitely a little bit salty, the smoothness of the dessert is perfectly balanced with the crushed black sesame and didn’t need anything else. This dessert is a reminder of why we first fell in love with salted caramel in the first place. Sharing is caring, but perhaps not in this case. The burnt pavlova with elderflower and passion fruit curd is worth mentioning and when you have the chance, tasting as well!

When in Sydney, make sure to book a table. These guys know what they’re doing.

Ester, 46-52 Meager street, Chippendale, Sydney

ester-restaurant.com.au

Bloesembar, Rotterdam

Bloesembar by Maidie van den Bosch | un-fold-ed.com Bloesembar by Maidie van den Bosch | un-fold-ed.com Bloesembar by Maidie van den Bosch | un-fold-ed.com Bloesembar by Maidie van den Bosch | un-fold-ed.com Bloesembar by Maidie van den Bosch | un-fold-ed.com Bloesembar by Maidie van den Bosch | un-fold-ed.com Bloesembar by Maidie van den Bosch | un-fold-ed.com Bloesembar by Maidie van den Bosch | un-fold-ed.com Bloesembar by Maidie van den Bosch | un-fold-ed.com Bloesembar by Maidie van den Bosch | un-fold-ed.comEvery season has it’s own tastes and scents. It’s a good development more and more people are eating seasonal and in that way more local as well. But we’re not that familiar with seasonal, local drinking yet. For her pop-up Bloesembar (blossom bar) Maidie van den Bos forages wild flowers, seeds and herbs which she uses to make her own syrups. She uses these syrups as a base for her homemade lemonades and original cocktails which you can taste today at Dakakker in Rotterdam as a part of the Motel Mozaique Festival. This time she only used products she found in the city itself. On a big wooden map of Rotterdam, specially made for this project, you’ll find test tubes filled with the syrups. You can choose your flavour based on the location Maidie found the ingredients. Think of things like sorrel, rose hip, magnolia, ground ivy, fennel seed, elderflower and more!

She’s popping up now and then on parties or festivals so if you’re not able to go today keep an eye on her website to stay updated about upcoming events and other projects.

Or read more about Maidie and Motel Mozaique here.

Dakakker, Schiekade 189, 7th floor, Rotterdam

Fifty Acres, Melbourne

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Concrete, wood, marble, brass. A combination that never seems to bore me. Neither do pumpkin pancakes with bacon (as you might have noticed in my previous post) and very good coffee. You will find it all at Fifty Acres in Richmond, Melbourne.

Fifty Acres, 65 Bridge Rd, Richmond, Melbourne,  MON – FRI 6:30 – 4  /  SAT 7 – 4  /  SUN 8 – 4

Freemans, New York

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Finding restaurant Freemans might be a bit of a challenge but if we’re talking about so called hidden gems we can count this one in for sure. At the end of a small, dark alley on the Lower East Side you’ll find a string of lights leading you to the charming entrance of Freemans.  The alley separates you from the city, and even though the place is not that hidden anymore (open for more than 10 years already), it still made me feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland, stepping into a new world I wanted to explore.

The inside is a collection of cosy, intimate rooms. Even though you might not have a house filled with mounted animals, this place is one where you will feel right at home. Wooden tables, wooden floors, collections of paintings, flowers.. It’s a comforting place and so is the food they serve. Feel good, simple, rustic American food like mac and cheese, stews, sausage plates and much more.

When I visited the restaurant (October 2013) it was just before Halloween so pumpkin dishes were served everywhere. A good thing I love this orange vegetables so at Freemans I enjoyed fluffy American pumpkin pancakes with bacon on the side. It was a quiet peaceful weekday lunch for me but this place is packed during weekends and in the evenings as well for before/ after dinner cocktails.

Freemans, at the end of the Freeman Alley, Off Rivington Street between the Bowery and Chrystie Street

Telephone: 212-420-0012

www.freemansrestaurant.com

Lux, Rotterdam

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Sunday. The perfect day to enjoy a long and relaxed lunch.

A personal favourite for Sunday lunch in Rotterdam is Italian restaurant Lux. The restaurant is something of an institution, existing for more than 25 years. Since a few years chef Milan Gataric is the new owner and he’s rocking the cucina romana. Testaccio is the original neighborhood of Rome where the roman cuisine, known as the quinto quarto (fifth quarter) was born. Using this Italian nose to tail approach Milan might serve you slow cooked beef cheek or grilled veal heart.

One of the best dishes is the spaghetti with grated cured tuna heart, egg yolk, fennel seeds, red pepper and garlic.  The right seasoning turns the seemingly simple dishes into the perfect Italian feel good food. All subtile and very well balanced.

You might be getting quite satisfied to the end of your ‘secondi’ but I highly recommend you to not skip dessert. Definitely don’t when there’s chocolate ice-cream on the menu. I haven’t had better on my trips to Italy!

Lux, ‘s Gravendijkwal 133, Rotterdam

Paté Paté, Copenhagen

Paté Paté, Copenhagen | un-fold-ed.com Paté Paté, Copenhagen | un-fold-ed.com Paté Paté, Copenhagen | un-fold-ed.com Paté Paté, Copenhagen | un-fold-ed.com Paté Paté, Copenhagen | un-fold-ed.com Paté Paté, Copenhagen | un-fold-ed.com Paté Paté, Copenhagen | un-fold-ed.com Paté Paté, Copenhagen | un-fold-ed.com Paté Paté, Copenhagen | un-fold-ed.com Paté Paté, Copenhagen | un-fold-ed.com Paté Paté, Copenhagen | un-fold-ed.com   Aaaahh Paté Paté… It’s Friday and I wish I would be in Copenhagen right now. Start with a good glass of red wine, have a variety of the amazing plates to share with friends and have another drink after dinner. Maybe even a little dance once the volume of the music gets turned up later in the evening. The restaurant is located in the meatpacking district (just like Italian restaurant Mother) and presents itself as wine bar, eatery, and tapas bar. Spanish- and French-inspired food with just a tiny touch of the Nordic Cuisine. The building used to be an old paté factory, the word got doubled to resemble the two brothers who joined their forces to start the restaurant in 2008. Paté Paté is pretty much always packed, and for a good reason. It’s a charming restaurant with a no nonsense atmosphere and terrific food.  Even though I’m normally not too keen on horseradish, in combination with beetroot cured salmon and browned butter this was a favorite. Ending with a very well balanced sweet and sour panna cotta with maple syrup and fresh red currants this feel-good menu couldn’t have made me happier. It was just as good the second time I went there and I will make sure to visit it again on my next visit to Copenhagen! Paté Paté, Slagterboderne 1, Copenhagen, Denmark

Books for cooks, Melbourne

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Books for cooks. From chefs to amateurs; for everyone with a passion for food this place is heaven. Once you enter the tiny shop, you’ll stay for hours, browsing some of their 40.000 + titles in stock. Vintage or newly published cookbooks, here you’ll find what you’re looking for. If not, the friendly, knowledgeable staff will do everything in their power to help you find hard-to-find or out-of-print cookbooks.  If I would be living in Melbourne I would spend days here..

Waffles and Jaffles, Australia

Dutch Rachid making waffles in Australia | un-fold-ed.comDutch Rachid making waffles in Australia | un-fold-ed.com

Meet Rachid. Moved to Australia about 15 years ago to escape the cold and rainy Dutch weather. Now he’s a schoolbus driver, a camping manager and in the weekends selling the most delicious waffles in the burning, hot sun on the Dukes Highway, in a tiny village called Coonalpyn. On our long way from Melbourne to Adelaide we passed his little stand, immediately turned around and made a stopover to devour the sweet maple syrup waffle..  Exactly what we needed after hours and hours of driving.

Waffles & Jaffles

 

The Butcher’s Daughter, New York

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The Butcher’s Daughter, a casual, very vegan-friendly cafe in Nolita that will dazzle any vegetable lover. When I stumbled upon it I got attracted by the visually appealing, stylish appearance which shows a quite feminine and colorful take on old butcher shops. But instead of serving meat they’re more like a ‘vegetable slaughterhouse’ (like they call it on their website). The smashed avocado toast with curry and mustard seeds I had was packed with flavor despite it’s simplicity. The highlighted vegetables attract the young and healthy, giving the café a casual and hip atmosphere. It’s been quite a while since my visit when I took these pictures but I don’t think a lot has changed, believing the internet reviews it still seems successful. Next to breakfast, brunch and lunch you can now have dinner there as well. And the lucky ones living nearby can enjoy their home delivery.

The Butcher’s Daughter

19 Kenmare St. New York

 

The Broken Arm, Paris

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I can’t wait for spring to come, go to Paris, and sit back and relax on the sunny terrace of one of my favorite cafés in my all-time favorite city. Situated next to the Square du Temple on a quiet corner in the 3rd arrondissement, The Broken Arm is the perfect place for a tasty breakfast or lunch in the sun.

Unfortunately, a decent coffee in France is not that easy to find but The Broken Arm serving Solberg & Hansen coffee is one of the exceptions in Paris. Next to good coffee they provide a small, daily changing, menu of sandwiches, salads and soups. I enjoyed a green pea soup with mint and lemon thyme croutons.

Don’t worry if the sun doesn’t shine. The clean, minimal, but cosy interior with a typical French tiled floor and lots of plants makes this place a lovely hangout for rainy days as well. And when it’s too busy to find yourself a table right away you can entertain yourself in their next door concept store and try again when you’re done shopping.

The Broken Arm, 12, rue Perrée, 75003, Paris