Trench coat. Check.
Fedora hat. Check.
Notepad and pen. Check.
Secretly, slyly, she moved towards the side of the building, the cold and clammy bricks rough against her back as she tried to stay inconspicuous from the crowds of people passing by. Look left, look right. She opened the swinging doors. No bell jingled. Stealthily she took a lift to the 8th floor, heart thudding now in anticipation, the pristine marble mocking her every move. Ping! She started from the elevator’s chime. She had arrived. The piano was playing. There was a classy air swirling around her. She saw the tables, sumptuous in their glory. It was time to start her work.
Yes, I am here to deliver my first review EVER :D – see why my post is named as it is! I have been planning this for weeks and now, partly because of my partly sugar and partly natural high, I am finally typing it!!! Why am I undercover? Because no one knows I am a blogger! Just a snap happy tourist or crazy food girl (that one is a little true ;))
Lot’s of people ask me ‘Should I choose this restaurant for a birthday?’; ‘What should I have for lunch?’; ‘Is this place fattening? I love answering these questions!!! Reviewing and documenting my many culinary experiences (considering my family adores going out to dinners, breakfasts, brunches but not so much lunches), I think this will be a fabulous new addition to this blog :D
I promise you food photos galore, explanantions which will hopefully make your tongue water, price ranges when I can and my whole experience – awesome for you Aussies and incentive to visit for the internationally scattered :D
Classy ambience, Elton John music being perfectly played on the piano. An air of sophistication. Plush chairs, beautiful interior. Chandeliers.
That is how you feel when you walk into the wonderful Crossroads Bar of this hotel for their daily Afternoon High Tea. If you will recall, I mentioned having my own high tea at home but this was the real deal experience.
Promptly, our booking (yes, definitely I recommend booking at least a week and a half before) was ticked and we were seated. My parents were poured a complimentary glass of sparkling wine which I dejectedly rejected, though I may or may not had had a sip from my mum ;) – a perfect start to eat fest. I mean, a high class buffet ;)
First stop was savouries, no doubt we were going the usual meal way. What a selection! A range of mini sandwiches including delectable cheese and tomato, ham, egg, chicken pate and I do believe one may have contained spinach. But I bypassed these perfectly cut, crustless multi-types-of-bread beauties for some hot food.
I was greeted by a wide range of fantastic vegetarian and meat options, all served with 3 delicious condiments. There were traditional Aussie meat pies, veggie and non-veg quiches with perfect flaky crust and a lamb kebab. Being a vegetarian girl, my daddykins reviewed these for me
“The lamb kebab was a little chewy (overdone I would say) so I left that”
“Delicious meat pie (dripping with good ol’ tomato sauce)”
I did however eat the quiche which I could not take so much egg in but for quiche lovers it was heavenly. A slight cheesy aftertaste, perfectly seasoned and smattered with delicate pieces of tomato and herbs.
My personal weaknesses were the vegetarian springrolls and the mini samosas. Small crisp fried pieces of Asian goodness filled with potatoes and peas, these were addictive served with a drop of sweet chilli sauce.
It was unfortunate that after the springrolls had finished (maybe this can be blamed on us ;)), they served a chewy fried pastry containing spinach and cheese filling with a horrible aftertaste!
Besides the hot savouries and the cold cut sandwiches, they also offered very cute little wraps filled to the brim with cold meat and vegies as well as offered mini sliders, whose bun looked fluffy and ingredients very fresh :)
Now let us move on to what you really want to hear about. The dessert table. We had a quick stop at the coffee and tea station for my parents (though apparently the coffee was repulsive) and a juice stop for me, then relaxed at our table, enjoying the backdrop of Swiss mountains and a train ride which is offered through it before hitting the jackpot table.
Here are a couple of dessert table shots to get you in mood before we really get reviewing :)
Let me start with the best of the best and work my way through it all (and yes, I tried them all except I think 3 things – all for you, you know, not me, not at all!)
Firstly, a moist and tender chocolate cake piece topped with a layer of raspberry jelly and topped off with a melt-in-mouth milk chocolate ganache. Soft, crumby and sweet without any artificial raspberry taste which I was afraid would come, this was a perfect beginner (especially since I chose the piece with a wizards-hat shard of dark chocolate on top!)
Next, a sweet and dense mini muffin with the distinct taste of almond meal which added to its texture. It had the most delicious flavour and with the addition of the occasional berry, bursted in your mouth. The only let down was the whipped cream, which lacked flavour and sweetness (unlike this whipped cream) so therefore I methodically removed it from every dish I tried.
One of my weaknesses came in the form of a very tropical creation. Thin layer of super soft sponge cake was the base for a creamy passionfruit mousse (sans seeds), a layer of mango jelly, some more mousse topped off with a passionfruit glaze. It was light but actually perfect in proportion and taste.
Next we had two different, what I like to call, small-container desserts. A vanilla curd with mixed berries compote on top was addictive but not overwhelming while the traditional fruit and custard dessert had me begging for seconds. They both were rich, creamy and perfect with their respective fruits (the custard also came with shavings of white chocolate – how classy!)
There was also the white chocolate rocky road which I shared with my dad (though mind you, I have a bottomless pit!) and it was like biting into a chocolatey version of a white christmas slice! Chewy marshmallow and delicious pistachios and glace cherries melding into one!
I also had a lime jelly dessert to top everything off. After removing the cream and popping the blueberry into my mouth, it was very airy and refreshing with the decadent gelantinous taste we all love so much :)
The chocolate fountain while perfect for me, was a major let down for my poor parents. I recognised the taste immediately as approximately 70% dark chocolate (probably Lindt Excellence due to the familiar taste) and they both detest dark chocolate. I think, milk chocolate would have been more appropriate to entice a greater audience but I wasn’t complaining. Dipping in the fruits, enjoying the swirling and twirling, it was a definite highlight for me!
Some other desserts which I did not try or had a bite of were
- This chocolate layer cake which had mousse at the bottom and top with a hard pastry layer inbetween which I could not even cut through – looked pretty though :P
- Mini lemon meringue tartlettes which I forgot to take but looked exquisite (I heard a lady nearby exclaim at the awesomeness of the taste!)
- Adorable mini scones which were soft and fluffy, perfect with fresh strawberry jam (but tasteless whipped cream)
- Mini berry flan whose short crust pastry was the perfect buttery crumbliness and sweetened with a delicious vanilla custard and glazed fruit
- Mini eclairs – possibly the cutest dessert their with a delectable pastry cream inside but the choux pastry itself was tough unfortunately!
Let’s wrap this undercover review now shall we?
- Quick plate take-away
- Fresh food all round
- Perfect serving sizes so everyone could try a little of everything without feeling like a house (which I have never felt ;))
- Extremely slow refillment – I had to ask for marshmallows since they were all out for the chocolate fountain. Not cool. And some people did not even get to try the cakes because they assumed no one was refilling them!
- Notice I did not name anything and had to go purely on taste to describe everything? There were no tags which showed the name or main ingredient, making it quite difficult even for me at times to see what had meat and what didn’t and the components of the unusual desserts
Overall Rating: 8/10 – I would love to go again with friends and enjoy losing myself in all the food and ambience!
Other Reads & Reviews:
General Information: Swissotel Sydney
8/68 Market St
Sydney NSW 2000
Price: $55 + 1 glass wine complimentary per person (charges apply for additional glasses)
Well, now, I hope you enjoyed this review! Let me know if anyone goes and indulges a little ;)
To finish off this undercover post, I havea fabulous savoury recipe for you courtsey of my mummy and one which will be going in my when-I-move-out-family-cookbook ;). I thought a little bit of a change would be good considering this was a twist in a post itself. Expect to see a lot more from me my friends, I am about to paint Sydney red :D
This chowmein is loaded with flavour, vegetables and with a touch of chilli, transports you all the way to China, or at least your favourite Chinese takeaway – I have never tasted better than this I assure you. And this doesn’t even use all that much oil! :)
Perfect Vegetable Chowmein
Serves: 3-4 people
- 150g packet of Hakka (Chowmein/Asian noodles) noodles
- 1 medium red capsicum, finely sliced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 cups worth of shredded cabbage
- 1 red/Spanish onion, finely sliced
- 2 bulbs spring onion, sliced (leave a few for garnishing)
- 4-5 tbs canola oil (depending on richness)
- 3/4 tsp garlic paste (optional)
- 3 1/2 tbs soya sauce
- 1 1/2 tbs white vinegar
- White pepper and salt to taste
- Make noodles according to instructions on packet. Set aside
- Gather vegetables together, placing carrot, cabbage and capsicum in one bowl and both onions in another
*Note: To cut them so finely, I used an electronic salad cutter which saves so much time!
- Put a large frying pan on high heat and pour in oil. Let heat up until oil is spitting
- Put in both onions and stir fry in oil until lightly browned
- Add in remaining vegetables and garlic paste if using and stir fry together for 3-4 minutes. Set aside and turn off heat.
- In a large dish, place noodles, vegetables, vinegar, soya sauce, white pepper and salt (we put approximately 1/2 tsp of both)
- Use your hands and gently caress the ingredients together until mixed through
- Garnish with extra spring onion and serve with chili paste and chopsticks :D
Check out some other dishes we served our dinner with… maybe I will share all my family secret recipes with you one day ;)