Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tapas Train at Sushi Choo, CBD Sydney

For those not in the know, the Merivale group is the brand behind some of Sydney's best (and trendiest) pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants. Being the ultimate dags The Boy and I don't go to trendy places all that often - I just don't have the wardrobe, dress sense or hair style to be seen in these type of trendy places.

For the month of March however (and also a little bit of February and April) the Merivale group are holding a foodie event, March into Merivale which involves a whole bunch of $33 lunches and dinners at 13 of their restaurants. They're also putting on quite a few special events and it is one of these that catches my eye and drags the ultimate dags into the city for a night of eating, eating and eating.

Now, I think I've made my love for sushi and sushi train well known on this blog. But a little known fact is that I also really really love Tapas.  I often suffer from food envy, so I love the idea of being able to try lots of little dishes rather than commit to one big meal and wishing I was having what she's having.

When I read that Sushi Choo was being taking over by the team from Ash Street Cellar who were doing an all you can eat Tapas Train I booked The Boy and I a seat on the train without a moments hesitation. All aboard!

The Boy and I arrived in the city a little bit early so we have a snoop around the Ivy complex which houses quite a few of the Merivale restaurants and clubs such as Felix, Ash Street Cellar, Uccello, Mad Cow and Sailors Thai.  After our snoop, we head up to the Ivy Bar where we are meeting fellow blogger Sara for a pre-pigout drink.  The Ivy Bar is decked in an Alice in Wonderland type of theme, very quirky with over-sized licorice-all-sorts decorating the trees and bar.  A yellow and white colour theme gives the place a light summer vibe. Me likie.

In keeping with the Alice in Wonderland theme in seems only fitting that I order the Wonderland cocktail ($18.00).

After our drinks it's time to head over to Sushi Choo for the 6.30pm boarding time.  It's seems like a fairly early time for dinner on a Saturday night, but I'm not complaining as I'm an early eater most nights anyway.  We also spy fellow bloggers Gianna and Rhonda boarding the train.  It's fun know other people at the dinner as when our bellies get too full to sit down we can get up and have a little with chat the others whilst the food makes it way down to our feet.

To say I'm a little excited to see the train filled with delicious looking tapas plates is a bit of an understatement.  As soon as we're shown our seats we get straight into the business of eating. The great thing about this dinner was that if we really liked a dish you can have a another plate...or three!  This was an "all you can eat" affair and we ate all we could. The $45 price tag for the dinner seemed incredibly reasonable to me, especially as we also received a glass of Moet Chandon. Bottoms up!

Clockwise from top left: marinated olives; prawns with caper berries and marinated capsicum; salad of pine nuts and shredded cabbage; capsicum tartare.
Clockwise from top left: pork terrine; chorizo; pate with toasted sourdough, cornichons and unidentified paste; fried baby whitebait with lime mayonnaise.
Clockwise from top left: little sausages on a capsicum puree; wagyu steak; potato croquettes; leaf salad with feta.
Clockwise from top left: roasted capsicums with herbed breadcrumbs; prosciutto; sardines with a lemon vinaigrette; king fish ceviche.
Last dish of the evening: charred green peppers.
The Boy and I both had a GREAT time at this dinner, and ate WAY too much.  We each had at least one or more of the dishes shown above.  The Boy went nuts eating the prawn dish as well as the Wagyu beef (some of the meat was very tender, but other pieces a bit more chewy...he was "researching" the odds of getting tender vs chewy).

I'm hard pressed to name just one favourite dish of the night. I loved the pate as well as the roasted capsicum dish. The little sausages were extremely tasty, and the potato croquettes were as soft and fluffy as a pillow.  I loved the saltiness of the charred green peppers, which (thankfully) had no chilli kick to them at all. Whilst the sardines were too strong in flavour for my palette, the other seafood dishes were amazing. The ceviche was a particular favourite of mine.

It would've been nice to end the meal with a little something sweet on the Tapas Train to cleanse the palette, but in the end we popped across the road to Max Brenner for a chocolate hit before heading back to the wilds of Parramatta.

Sushi Choo is located within the Ivy complex on the ground floor at 320 George Street, Sydney.
Ash Street Cellar is also located at the Ivy complex (320 George Street), but is located on Ash Street (the little laneway behind George Street).

Ash Street Cellar on Urbanspoon


  1. This sounds like an Awesome night, I love tapas and this looks like the perfect way to have them! I have food envy right now ;)

  2. See you are way trendier than me - there is no way I would end up at a place like this!!!! ENJOY!

  3. Talk about lightning speed getting your post up!! There was plenty of food, you could say an endless conveyor belt ;p Was great catching up with and the boy.

  4. Yum...loving the big licorice-all-sorts!

  5. I love the Alice in Wonderland theme. Looks amazing! The pictures of the food make me hungry even though I am full.

  6. YUM YUM YUM! I love Tapas! What a delicious food event!

  7. I kick myself for not booking early for this event! lucky you!

  8. What a great event! Damn, I wish I knew about it

  9. That's such a cute idea. And that Wonderland cocktail.. yum!

  10. So good to see excellent non-sushi train dishes, fab!

  11. oh LOVE the alice in wonderland theme! the dishes looks wonderful - it certainly has been a while since i went to sushi choo. will have to check it out :)

  12. That looks SO GOOD! I had wanted to go to this (tapas train - awesome idea!!!) but had something else, so thanks for sharing the experience

  13. ohh alice in wonderland theme! i love anything that has a theme. i heard that this is an unlimited eating event?

  14. The wonderland cocktail looks fantastic, I want one of those.

  15. i had no idea this event was on, damn.

    oh & an $18 cocktail, i couldn't.

  16. chew chew!! all aboard!

    so nice to catch up with you and the boy, i still cant get over how much we ate!

  17. That looks like a great idea! Hopefully there will be tapas trains popping up everywhere now..

  18. Aww Astroboy always makes me smile. An interesting mix of tapas. I might have to borrow that cabbage and pine nut idea!

  19. Hi Everyone - I'm hoping that a Tapas Train becomes a full-time fixture in was such a fun night, and great as it was something so different. Thanks for all your comments.


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