AT THE STAR, NSW
Unfortunately, Balla was closed to the public for a private event and Black seemed a little too broody for my company's style - so we opted for a quick nibble at the Din Tai Fung Dumpling Bar and Gelato Messina for gelato soon afterwards.
Although I didn't take any photo-worthy photos of the latter, Messina's gelato bar was heavenly. The quality of the ice cream is rich and creamy with every decent spoonful.
Their portions were a generous scoop too, the ice cream was at a near-to-melt-but-oh-so-soft enough to spoon and devour easily. Not one hardened, icy consistency was present. The cups are big enough for two flavours and there are so many to choose from. I had chosen the Pistachio and Gianduia (chocolate & hazelnut) flavours amongst many other seriously delicious and creative flavours of "Ultra Violet" (a blueberry/chocolate tango), Coconut and Pandan, Pear & Rhubarb and the Italian Nougat - all of which looked so decadent I ought to try them later on!
Din Tai Fung Dumpling Bar is a smaller outlet to it's bigger brother over in World Square in the CBD. The Dumpling Bar caters for those who are in need of a quick dumpling or wonton noodle fix; with a dumpling kitchen for passersby to watch as the chefs prepare dumplings in front of the glass window.
Our order was spicy shrimp and pork wonton noodle and the pork dumplings (4 pieces). Whilst we waited for our Din Tai Fung buzzer to go ballistic, we walked next door to the left of the cashier counter and roamed about to see what else was around The Star.
On the left was seating rooms, both of which are of glistening black and silver. The ceilings are high, the chairs are all varied in style but the colour and trends remain the same throughout the ground level. There are booths, tables, communal-type chairs and television screens to kick back and watch whilst you eat and sit down after a good walk or gamble at the casino (not that I did, though). What I loved most was the corner tables, indented to be circular separate places with faux-glass tiling that glittered little specks of lights on everything.
Then I spotted Adriano Zumbo Patissiere. Cue crazy person with an irrevocable sweets addiction *fangirl-gasm*
I was so very happy to have finally had a peek at the wacky, colourfully vibrant shop that is Zumbo's. Zumbo's Patisserie has been on my "must see and eat" list for quite a while and it still is since the dining room - a rather awesome "Dessert Train" - wasn't in action.
The buzzer brings me back to the bittersweet reality of no Zumbo cakes, but also a twang of happiness as we go back to receive our Dumpling Bar order.
Settling into our faux-diamond encrusted circle, we ate the spicy (yes, it's quite spicy!) noodles and wontons. Every mouthful an addictive spicy challenge for me as I wanted to eat, but couldn't hack the chilli in the end. To soothe, I had my soy bean milk that worked a treat for cooling down my taste buds that were going into chilli overdrive.
The Dumplings themselves are never disappointing, as they are served hot and encasing the enticing pork broth inside each dumpling. Happily, I ate those and read the little red memo on how Din Tai Fung suggests to eat them:
Backtracking on Zumbo... I totally am in love with the idea of their sushi train-like line up, although surprisingly, it ain't sushi but sweet cakes and macaroons instead. The prices however are 8.50-10.50 a plate, which I know if I were set off into this place, I'd easily rack up a $50-100 bill ALONE so I shall have to have my limits when I do visit once again.
... till next time!
THE STAR: ADRIANO ZUMBO / DIN TAI FUNG