This is a boring blog. It’s intended to be descriptive and informative, not poetic.
Grammar is terrible. I spell ice cream without a hyphen, because it deserves more affection than that. I am an aggressive user of brackets. I write as though I’m speaking.
For me, it’s all about the actual food. If you’re not interested in reading the breakdown of the flavours in an evaluation of each dish, I’ve got a summary at the top, and pictures at the bottom of each review.
I’ll only write full reviews for restaurants falling into one of three categories: it’s hatted, it’s outstanding, or it’s expensive (so people will be more interested as to whether it’s worthwhile).
Ambiance and service only require the briefest of comments (unless either was exceptional).
Value is everything. It’s the only thing I give a rating out of ten. Yummy, but overpriced? Nice view, bland food? Good in isolation, but I’ve had better? Expectation versus execution?
I am not a history teacher, wanting to give you the head chef’s resume.
My aim is to assist Sydneysiders with where to go and what to order, read in the context of how worthwhile a restaurant is compared to others in Sydney. My opinions are all very relative. Relative to Sydney standards.
You and I might have different tastes. Here’s a bit about my loves. If I see any of the following items on a menu, I’ll order the dish: Moreton Bay bug, vanilla, Earl Grey, custard apple, Geraldton wax, bone marrow, fried bread, raw fish, custard, truffle, tartare, chestnut, yuzu koshu, and macadamias (and nuts generally). Most meals with rich, blue, aged or gooey cheese will similarly ensnare me.
I also have some pet peeves at restaurants that usually colour my experience. Chiefly: water and bread. Don’t charge me for anything without asking me first, and refill my glass regularly. Just leave the bottle at the table if you’re understaffed. Don’t take the plate away without it either being literally barren or asking me whether I’m finished. Don’t make me wait for too long to be seated or too long to get the bill. Bonus points for being friendly, getting me a clean plate and cutlery between courses and apologising for serious errors with free food. Generosity is essential when you’re overpriced or hatted. Wait staff with an accent native to the relevant cuisine are less authentic than annoying, if their articulation in English is poor. Likewise, it’s just useless to have a menu with unrecognisable words and descriptions, unless a) there’s a full English translation below b) the words are mainstream foreign e.g gyoza, spaghetti, pâté, tzatziki etc.
As for the space in a restaurant…I don’t need a view and I don’t even need to be comfortable, but I like it to be reasonably well-lit, with soft music. Bonus points for quality linen, wide seats and an open kitchen.
As far as I’m concerned, expensive or hatted restaurants (or tasting menus) should always add bread, interesting/innovative snacks and petit fours at the end of the meal for free. Most of them do. It’s a surprise, it’s generous, and it’s often the highlight of the meal.
For short review summaries, see my instagram @sydneyflavours. You don’t need your own Instagram account to view my photos.
My website is a constant work in progress (eat, sleep, repeat). Thus none of my judgements are final. My photos are hit and miss, depending on the lighting and time of day. If my own photos are terrible, I sometimes insert links to public photos on Instagram.
If you have any comments, suggestions, questions, or you’d like customised personal recommendations, don’t hesitate to contact me.
A disclaimer. I have worked for Good Food and currently write for Broadsheet Media. If I am paid to eat somewhere, I will make a note in the article.