Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Pie Tin, Newtown

If there's one food that is considered inherently Australian, I'd say it'd be the meat pie. I have very many memories of eating re-heated Mrs Mac's pies from the school canteen, topped with those single-serve squeezy tomato sauce packets. Thankfully as the years went on, I've discovered pies of a higher calibre and Newtown seems to be a Sydney hotspot for these.

Before Newtown station underwent renovation,  next door stood the Rose Sunrise Bakery, where you could acquire a mediocre pork roll or the most amazing meat pie. Honestly I was obsessed, the flakiest, most buttery pastry known to my taste-buds encased beef bathed in the richest gravy. Oh god I loved those pies. It should also be mentioned that another current love of mine is the pumpkin, feta and coriander pie from Janet's Pies, which I discovered after a pub crawl down King St late in the night after they had run out of meat pies. However, newest kid on the block and pie affection contender, The Pie Tin popped up recently off the main drag of King St. Another pie shop in Newtown? I  had to go check this out.

Creamed Chicken & Wholeseed Mustard, The Pie Tin
Pie, potato mash, leaf salad $11

Pies here are around $6.80 each but you can get one with two sides for an even $11. Definitely a decent lunch and look, I even ate some green stuff. You can't go wrong with mashed potatoes and gravy, and the leaf salad is good at giving the impression that you're eating healthy. Sort of. The pies are big with golden flaky pastry and a wide selection of generous fillings.

Creamed Chicken & Wholeseed Mustard, The Pie Tin
Creamed Chicken and Wholeseed Mustard Pie

Okay so I don't really remember what exactly this pie is called, it was new and I can't find it on their online menu but it was terribly good. Chunks of chicken bathed in creamy mustard sauce, it the tastiest out of all pies I tried here.

Chunky Steak & Stout Pie, The Pie Tin
Chunky Steak & Stout, kumera mash, coleslaw $11

The chunky steak and stout is a solid meat pie to smash down with a beer. I'm a sucker for the kumera sweet potato mash too, and the coleslaw is creamy and fresh.

Pork & Apple Pie, The Pie Tin
Slow Roasted Shredded Pork with Apple & BBQ sauce, kumera mash, Boston baked beans $11

The slow roasted shredded pork with apple & BBQ sauce is filled with soft and succulent pulled pork, the apple and BBQ sauce add a sweet, smokey flavour. Do try if you like your savoury pies rather sweet. Goes down great with a cider. The Boston baked beans are great too, rustic and smoky with a hint of bacon.

Lamb & Rosemary Pie, The Pie Tin
Lamb & Rosemary Pie $6.80

The lamb and rosemary pie is fantastic as well, tender strip of lamb in a fragrant rosemary gravy. The pastry on this one is also a killer.

Pork & Fennel Sausage Roll, The Pie Tin
Pork & Fennel Sausage Roll, coleslaw $7.80

The pastry on the pork and fennel sausage roll is out of this world. Thick, crunchy and messy as hell. The filling great too, you can't really go wrong with pork and fennel.

Lemon Meringue Pie, The Pie Tin
Lemon Meringue Pie with Double Cream $6.50

The lemon meringue pie is huge, a decent base of crust and lemon curd is piled with a ludicrous amount of meringue and served with a pot of double cream. I found the meringue super sugary, but I'm not much of a dessert person so what would I know?

The Apple Pie that ate Newtown, The Pie Tin
'The Pie that Ate Newtown' XL Apple Pie $7.50 

Dubbed 'the pie that ate Newtown', the XL apple pie is indeed a monster. Bursting with apple slices with a heady cinnamon aroma, the sugared crust could barely contain the innards. I didn't eat this but doesn't it look impressive?

The Pie Tin 
1a Brown St, Newtown 2042
(02) 9519 7880

The Pie Tin on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lately on Instagram II

Another filler post... I'm terribly sorry I haven't been blogging here much, just been so overrun the last few weeks with uni assignments, attending events and writing for Eat Drink Play, working with Secret Foodies, working my day job, and photographing for my friend Joseph's blog. As you may have noticed, some of my photos are blurry because I drop my phone on a daily basis and the camera as stopped focusing as a result. I've even taken to using my friends' phones to photograph my meals and sending it to myself in order to instragram them, sorta gives you an idea of amount of effort I put into being another stereotypical Asian taking photos of food.

One final thing - Figs & Brie was nominated and became a finalist in the Ultrabook Pedestrian.TV Blogster of the Year awards. If you could pretty please throw a vote my way, I promise brownies for all if I win!


  • A fantastic three-course lunch I had at Scarlett Restaurant at the newly refurbished Harbour Rocks Hotel, The Rocks
  • Murakami and instant ramyun on a night in; beef salad with glass noodles and mint at Missy K, Surry Hills, bresaola with rocket, a fantastic lamb provolone pie at The Commons in Darlinghurst
  • A batch of freshly baked brownies; Penfolds wine tasting at The Blocks; cocktails and pumpkin ravioli with burnt butter, sage and amaretto at the Janus launch party
  • The most amazing brunch of creamed eggs with truffle oil at Dank St Depot, Waterloo; comfort food in between uni classes, ramen at Fuji Ramen on Broadway; soft boiled eggs and shaved parmesan at Fratelli Fresh, Woolloomooloo

To follow me on instagram, my username is lolalost.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Blacksheep, Newtown

When a good friend of mine informed me earlier this year that he'd jumped on the Sydney small bar bandwagon, I was a little skeptical at first. He'd taken over what used to be Funky Bar on the main strip of Newtown, a place I'd never considered entering ('Funky Bar' sounds like it was named by your parents). However last month Blacksheep quietly opened its doors to the public on the timely eve of Black Friday, and I was incredibly impressed by the sexy fit-out. With a fireplace and armchairs, dark wood and chandeliers, it feels like the right balance of luxe and homey. Dimitry joked that they'd originally wanted to remove the wine-red velvet tapestry wallpaper adorning the back walls because "it looks like something out of a Turkish brothel". Personally I'm glad they kept it, although I think it makes the place look more like Hugh Hefner's reading room than an eastern European whorehouse. Perhaps you may find me sitting in an armchair at the back wearing a smoking jacket drinking milk from a chilled crystal glass, รก la the playboy himself.

On the topic of drinks, the cocktail menu is comprehensive as it is unique, starting at a reasonably priced $13 for classics - for the full low-down, you can read my bar review on Eat Drink Play (there will be pyrotechnics). A modest menu is also on offer, with light snacks to line your stomach and sustain your drinking. The chef is Liam Rooney, who having previously worked with the likes of The Vanguard and The Abercrombie, The Norfolk et al, pumps out similarly tasty diner-style nosh and tapas from the open kitchen.

Sliders, Black Sheep
Sliders $12

The sliders come with three choices of filling stuffed into a miniature brioche bun - beef and relish, mushroom and halloumi, and chicken and mayo. Choose three for $12, my favourite is the chicken and garlic mayo, but then again I'm always a sucker for pan-fried halloumi. Yeah nah they're all good.

Corn, Black Sheep
Mini Corn Cobs $6

The mini corn cobs are fantastic to munch on, the sweet juicy kernels are slathered with chipotle mayo and topped with shredded cheddar cheese. Cheesy and mildy spicy, they make a great beer snack. I may or may not have licked residue sauce off my plate.

Dog, Black Sheep
Pulled Beef Roll $12

As a big fan of pulled pork, the pulled beef roll is my favourite dish so far. Tender, melt in your mouth slow-cooked beef is shredded and stuffed into a fat brioche roll and topped with cheese and green onions. It's served with a 'reduction dipping sauce' which is unusual, but really works. Liam refuses to disclose all the ingredients to me but I can taste soy sauce and something sweet... it just goes so well with the beef.

Banoffee Pie, Black Sheep
Banoffee Pie $8

On the specials menu is the banoffee pie, a moreish construction of a buttery crumbed biscuit base, rich toffee, banana slices and thick cream - the flavours of caramel, cream and banana are an awesome combination. It's served with a sugary tangle of pashmak, a rosewater flavoured Persian fairy floss with a wool-like texture, made with sesame and sugar. Another reason to come for the drinks and stay for the food...

256 King St, Newtown 2050
(02) 8033 3455

Blacksheep on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen, Chippendale

Tucked away on a unassuming street in Chippendale is The Duck Inn, a local pub and kitchen which could easily become a second home. I attended a blogger party there a few weeks ago and was super impressed by the quality of food dished out by head chef Mitchell Davis. The menu is up-market pub grub, it changes seasonally and features only sustainably sourced produce. We kicked off our dinner with an amazing pink lady cider (by The Apple Thief, I'm 90% sure), which was refreshingly crisp with a balanced sweetness. Its colour was an unusually pale and clear with a pink tinge, looking more like a sparkling rose than apple cider.

Beef Sliders, The Duck Inn
Beef Sliders $13

Miniature burgers seem to be one of the biggest trends in Sydney in recent times, you'd probably be hard-pressed to find a bar menu without something of the sort on offer. The beef sliders here were stacks of cute little grilled patties, BBQ relish and cheese, topped with a miniature gherkin.

Ortiz Anchovies, The Duck Inn
Ortiz Anchovies $18

I had always hated seafood growing up, but since expanding my comfort zone with food, I've really developed a certain fondness for the piscine family. Even stronger flavoured fish such as mackerel and sardines I've found a liking for, so of course I'd find that I have a taste for anchovies. Salty, oily, fishy. These Ortiz anchovies were delicious dipped in cayenne spice and eaten with a slice of artisan bread with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Tapas Tasting Platter, The Duck Inn
Tapas Tasting Platter $22

The tapas tasting platter was a gorgeous array of chorizo, dates, pickled pearl onions, semi-dried tomatos, mushrooms, anchovies, rocket salad and toasted sourdough. Somebody recommended trying the anchovies with the dried dates, the clash of mellow sweetness of dried fruit and the salty fish was certainly interesting but not really my thing. I found the less unusual combination of spicy chorizo and anchovies much more palatable, especially with the sourness of a juicy semi-dried tomato.

Wild Mushroom Ravioli, The Duck Inn
Hand Made Wild Mushroom Ravioli $18

My main course choice of handmade wild mushroom ravioli was stunning, I wasn't expecting something so wonderful and sophisticated from a place with the ambience of your local pub but it exceeded all my expectations. Intensely fragrant with truffle oil, the soft parcels were packed with beautifully subtle flavours. The al dente pasta encased a earthy filling of mushroom, and was dressed with sage butter, heady truffle oil, parmesan and crunchy walnut crumbs. Dreamy.

Deconstructed Beef, Mushroom & Ale Pie, The Duck Inn
Deconstructed Beef, Mushroom & Ale Pie $26
w/ creamy mash, pea puree and puff pastry

Tasmanian Salmon Fillet, The Duck Inn
Tasmanian Salmon Fillet $24
w/ lentils, watercress and orange basil vinigarette

Wattleseed Crusted Kangaroo Fillet, The Duck Inn
Wattleseed Crusted Kangaroo Fillet $26
w/ sweet potato, watercress, tomato, ginger chutney and ale jus

Scotch Fillet, The Duck Inn
Grasslands Pasture Fed 300gm Scotch Fillet $30
w/ heirloom tomatoes, fries and chimmi churri

Dessert Tasting Platter, The Duck Inn
Dessert Tasting Platter

The dessert tasting platter was sight to behold. There was passionfruit panna cotta with passionfruit and strawberry macarons, sticky date pudding with toffee sauce and double cream, and a chocolate lava cake with minted vanilla bean custard, strawberries and port reduction. My favourite was the pudding, the dense and sticky cake was dangerously indulgent with the rich toffee and cream.

The Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen
74 Rose Street, Chippendale 2008
Telephone: (02) 9319 4415

The Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Figs & Brie dined as a guest of PEPR