July 7, 2011

The Genesis Story: Bistro 80, Star City

The outing was supposed to be about Fat Noodle, a new Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant on the main gaming floor at Star City Casino.

(Btw, the salt and pepper silken tofu at Fat Noodle?
Incredible. By far the best thing on the menu there.)

We'd organised a small meetup to try out Laura's latest eatery of choice, and it was only at the last minute that she suggested we also have dessert - upstairs at Bistro 80, the restaurant replacing Sean's Kitchen in the complex's multi-million dollar make-over.

Although Tammi seemed more intereseted in first sampling some jamon, the rest of us requested the dessert menu as soon as we were seated. Our bellies were sated from dinner, and our sweet teeth were bared!

There were seven straight-up dessert items on offer, and six eager food bloggers in attendance. Karen and I leaned across the table and poured over our options together. How could we possibly pick just one dessert each from such a tempting list? We ended up being extravagant and ordering four desserts just between the two of us - with the overall order from our table totalling twelve desserts.

Now that's what I call putting a hit on the Bistro 80's pastry chef!

Honey crème brûlée

This dessert was quite popular with our party, and with good reason. It was everything a good crème brûlée should be - from the satisfying cracking open of its caramelised shell, to the final spoonfuls of its smooth, melt-in-your-mouth custard.

Over the last few months and without any planning or aforethought, I've managed to have tried quite a selection of crème brûlée - and although I wouldn't place this particular version at the top of my list, it still ranks pretty high. I even enjoyed the accompanying compote of strawberry and rhubarb; the latter being a fruit that I have a contentious flavour history with.

I have no idea why the menu specified that this a honey crème brûlée, because I couldn't taste anything honey of it whatsoever. Still, a thumbs up from me!

Lemon and passionfruit delicious with citrus compote and lemon curd ice cream

Its name says it all: delicious! I am a big honking fangirl for any kind of citrus curd, so it's needless to point out that I loved this ice cream. The moist cake base and scattered cocoa nibs added a nice contrast to the super-sweetness of the rest of the dish. And in the dead of winter, it was so nice to taste fresh, tropical fruit again!

I also loved the presentation of this dessert. It doesn't look like your typical lemon delicious, but but as soon as I saw it, I wanted to gobble it all up (without sharing)! 

Poached raspberry meringue with raspberry sorbet and lemon verbena custard

This wasn't exactly what I was expecting (the meringue, for example, was more a mousse) but it was still lovely-tasting - even though eating the dish without completely smooshing it into the plate with every spoonful was like playing Jenga!

The combination of the aerated "meringue", real raspberry pieces and lemon custard was top-notch, but the highlight of this dessert was definitely the sorbet.

Dark chocolate tart with mandarin sorbet and crème fraîche

This baby was sixty-six percent Vahlrona chocolate and boy, could you tell! It was super-rich, but teetered pleasantly on the nice side of sickliness. To make the dish dance on your tastebuds, however, required a spoonful of the chocolate and its sour garnishes of madarin pieces and crème fraîche.

The only reason why I couldn't finish my half of the tart was because it was the last of the desserts that I got to tasting, so I was already half-full by that point. I definitely would've licked the plate clean had this been the only dessert I ordered - it was my favourite dish of the night (with the lemon delicious coming in a very close second).

(The money shot!)

I would be remiss in not mentioning Peter, our delightful waiter for this dessert-athon. He was friendly, funny, very attentive and knowledgeable about our chosen dishes - and a food blogger's dream when he turned up the mood-lighting in our section of the restaurant so we could get the best possible photos! He made our bonkers visit to Bistro 80 a truly enjoyable dining experience.

In fact, the reason this blog now exists is because of Peter - because of my favourite moment from the whole fabulous night. Flanked by his fellow waiters delivering our desserts en masse, he let us in on the kitchen's response to our staggering demand for sugar:

"The chef asked me when I gave him your order, Who've we got out there? The Women's Dessert Mafia?... Only, he said it with a lot more f-words."

And lo, a new food blog was born!

So stay tuned for more posts, as the Women's Dessert Mafia - as individuals and as a Family - take out contracts on sweets all over Sydney...

Bistro 80 on Urbanspoon


  1. too awesome!!! I love this. Eagerly awaiting your future posts.

    The waiter sounds like an absolute dream!

  2. looks super good...fantastic clicks..
    Am your first happy follower now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  3. Hey - HMMMMMMM...How coincidental...strangely though. We also write a dessert-only blog, and were the first in Victoria to do so, if not Australia. Now it seems we have started a trend too.