SD: SonyFoodie Dinner with the WX9


Two weeks ago, I was in San Diego testing out Sony’s new Cyber-shot WX9 which will be available later this month. I began my day at the Oceanside Farmers’ Market and had a fantastic lunch at the beach. However, I knew the real test would be at dinner. How would the camera perform in low-light conditions?


Chef Chris Ivens-Brown

We spent our day learning not just about Sony’s camera but also about Chef Chris Ivens-Brown who overseas Sony’s food program. He’s passionate about using the best local food and created stunning meals for us. At Sony’s corporate headquarters in San Diego, we were impressed by the spacious kitchen and Chef Chris’ resourceful cooking. He showed us how to make some appetizers in the kitchen before we headed to the top floor employee “cafe” which had gorgeous views of sunny San Diego.


Moet Chandon

There’s always something nice about starting a tour with a glass of bubbly in hand.

spaghetti and meatballs

a whole mess of Scotch quail eggs

close up on the Scotch quail egg


There is just something so fun about having miniature foods. The spaghetti wrapped-meatball, Scotch quail egg and portions of fish and chips. The Scotch quail eggs were wrapped with ground lamb “koftas.” A bit of an international flair on this dish!


mini fish and chips

The light wasn’t bad indoors but I can see I probably should have adjusted the camera a bit more to get brighter shots.


carrot and cilantro soup

We started with a warm spring baby carrot and cilantro soup. The soup featured a cluster of baby carrots in a ginger dressing. Even though I’m not fan of the orange vegetable, this soup had my attention.


ahi tuna and baby beet carpaccio

Next we had the ahi tuna and baby beet carpaccio with pickled papaya, baby arugula, clementine, whipped goat cheese and orange blossom honey.


Spring asparagus salad

The salad was a little bit of everything. I liked the asparagus with the shaved black truffle and mascarpone cream.  The proscuitto rose was quite nice. Nothing beats a super fresh salad green dress with a light Meyer lemon emulsion.



sweet and sour lobster salad

yes, that's really a beta fish swimming under my lobster salad

lobstah lobstah lobstah

Next we were dazzled by the sweet and sour lobster salad (are we only on course 5?!). It arrived with a live beta fish swimming in the lower bowl. Check out this video I have with Chef Chris explaining the sweet and sour lobster salad and my overall reaction to the presentation.

It was just a bonus the food was great as well.

smokey cedar striped black bass

While we were in the kitchen, Chef Chris demonstrated how to get the potato baskets. First he used an Asian vegetable peeler to create strips, then he wrapped it around a cucumber and deep fried it to create the tube. The black bass was also served with eggplant caviar and bok choy.

3-Way cannelloni

We had three cannelloni stuffed with beef, rabbit and duck. I loved the foams (pea, celery root, carrot and horseradish) that went with each. My favorite cannelloni had to be the duck.

pineapple pot pourri

The theatrics didn’t end there. For our first dessert, we had the pineapple pot pourri which came with dry ice puffing merrily away (see video). We also had a lovely spiked Ovaltine shot and petit fours on the patio.

Now here comes the test — can the Sony WX9 take photos in dark places?

petit fours-- in the dark

Test shot #1- this photo was taken on auto, no flash. As you can see, it’s not a good photo. So don’t do that. As a general rule, food bloggers do not take photos with flash. It washes out the food and looks “funny.” So what to do?

petit fours- in the dark

Test shot #2– This photo I took with Sony’s night mode. You can tell what the petit fours look like but it’s still not great. I did make use of the candlelight outside. I would suggest trying to wrangle up some additional light you can diffuse near your subject.

petit fours- in the dark

Test shot #3– This shot, I manually changed the ISO and got a much better shot. Now which petit four do you want?

For more tips on how to shoot photos in dark restaurants, check out my fellow SonyFoodie, No Recipes’ video. Marc has some great tips with using a DSLR, a point and shoot (Sony’s WX9) and even a cell phone.

I’ll be giving away this great point and shoot soon. Stay tuned for the contest!