30.9.09

Sydney Trip Day 1

Went down to Sydney to attend a friend's wedding on the weekend (19 & 20th September). We didn't know what to have for lunch but since my friend was very eager to eat some of her home country food, aka Taiwanese food, we decided to go to Chinatown. She brought us to a place called 'Cho Dumpling King - The taste of Taiwan' and from memory i think i've been there before. The first thing you notice is that the place is really small and packed, with quite a number of people waiting to be seated or for their take-aways. The second thing you notice is the variety of 小吃 (side dishes) which can all be glanced at from the outside. We waited for around 20 minutes until we could finally go in. We ordered a Braised Beef with Rice, Pork Chop with Rice and a Curry Pork Chop with Rice plus Shaken Ice Green Tea. In addition to that, we had a Taiwanese sliced beef and sliced pig's ear as side dishes
I quite liked the Pork Chop with the sour picked veggie as an accompliment, they go very well indeed. The beef was quite soft and tasty but it didn't stand out as much as the pork chop =P Was a bit disappointed with the sliced beef side as we all agreed that i tasted a bit dry!


Cho Dumpling King - A Taste of Taiwan

Beef with Rice

Pork Chop with Rice, Shaken Ice Green Tea (at the back)

After lunch we had to hurry back to the hotel where we are supposed to meet the bride and the groom for a pre-wedding rehearsal. The chapel where the wedding was held is quite small but beautiful (especially the tinted glass).
After the rehearsal we went to a close by suburb...i think it's Kingsford, to have dinner. We went to 'Delicious Chinese Cuisine' and we ordered a 4-people set dinner and a 3-people one. We had seasonal stir-fry veggies, salt & pepper tofu, Hainan chicken, stir-fry squid and string beans with shrimp paste, ShanTung chicken, sweet & sour pork chop, salted fish and eggplant hotpot plus chicken rice and a daily soup. The food was nice and i loved the TOFU! It was crispy on the outside and wonderfully soft inside...the tofu literally melted in your mouth. Yum. Hainan chicken was not as flavoursome as i expected, maybe because i was expecting too much as they claimed to make one of the best Hainan Chicken in Sydney. Overall the dinner was lovely and it turned out to be $8 per person, which is pretty good! I don't think you can get that in Canberra.



Delicious Chinese Cuisine

Seasonal stir-fry veggies

 Salt & pepper tofu *thumbs up

 Hainan chicken

Stir-fry squid and string beans with shrimp paste

 ShanTung chicken

Sweet & sour pork chop

Salted fish and eggplant hotpot

We were all full and satisfied...and tired...

24.9.09

Chorizo Stuffed Crust Pizza

I have never been a fan of pizzas, though my family used to eat them once a fortnight when i was younger. The main reason was probably because i always found the ones from Pizza Hut too oily and heavy and since then, my impression of pizza was always bad. You must asking 'then why are you blogging about a pizza recipe??' Well well...it all started when we decided to make pizza for a friend's farewell and somehow...mysteriously...it turned out quite yummy and nice. The crust wasn't oily at all (in fact, it was crispy) and i didn't feel as if i had just eaten a whole lump of greasy stuff. Anyways, the recipe is not hard but the dough can be time consuming.

Pizza Dough Recipe

- 2 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 3/4 cup of lukewarm water (85 - 90C)
- 3 tbsp of olive oil

Toppings

- tomato paste
- italian herbs
- chorizo (to your liking)
- grated mozzarella cheese

Method of preparation

1. Mix the all-purpose flour, salt, instant yeast and water
2. Add the olive oil and start kneading until it forms a nice and smooth dough (you might need extra flour or water)
3. Divide into 2 portions (this recipe allows you to make 2 pizza doughs)
4. Coat each dough with olive oil and put them each in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and let it sit in room temperature until it doubles in size (~1 hour)
5. Sprinkle the table surface with flour and using a rolling pin roll the dough out
6. Roll until the pizza dough is larger than the pizza pan by 1.5 inches
7. Put the pizza dough on the pizza pan
8. Put mozzarella cheese around the outer edge of the pizza dough and roll the extra dough that is hanging out of the pizza pan inwards to form a crust.
9. Spread tomato base and add some herbs
10. Add the chorizo and cover with mozzarella cheese
11. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes at 200C
12. Cool it down, slice it and...SERVE!

Here some pics of how my pizza turned out





Ooops...the sun light!

Hope you guys will like this recipe, remember that you can always change to the toppings that you like!

22.9.09

Cabanossi Roll - Simple recipe

Been having my own home-made Cabanossi Roll for brekkie for the last 2 days! Sorry...but there won't be any photos because i always make them in a rush. For those who want to try making them, here is the recipe. Trust me, it's very easy and healthy too!

- 1 French baguette (fresh, if possible)
- 1 or 2 Cabanossi, depends on how long your baguette is.
- 1 medium carrot, shaved
- alfalfa, to your liking
- Japanese mayonnaise (Japanese mayo makes a difference!)
- Heinz tomato sauce
- extra virgin olive oil margarine

Method:

1. Cut the baguette in half and spread the olive oil margarine
2. Fill the bread with shaved carrot, then the alfalfa
3. Add some tomato sauce
4. Slice the cabanossi and place them on top of the alfalfa
5. Squeeze mayo on top of cabanossi and then some tomato sauce.
6. Cut it in portions to your liking and ready to EAT!



Hog's Breath Cafe + Cafe Essen

I was supposed to go to Cafe Macchiato for dinner but realised that i was closed! I think i haven't been there for so long that i didn't realise that they are no longer opened for dinner. After a long discussion, we ended up in Hog's Breath Cafe (Bailey's Cnr, London Cct) mainly because it has a nice atmosphere where we can talk for ages! I ordered a Grilled Steak Sandwich ($14.95) and my friend ordered a Chicken Caesar Wrap ($12.95). My steak was rather cooked to well-done when i prefer medium-rare. It was a bit disappointing because i had a better one last time. The chicken Caesar wrap seemed to have a lot of iceberg lettuce in it and very little of the other ingredients; i guess my friend didn't mind since she loves veggies a lot!


Chicken Caesar Wrap


Grilled Steak Sandwich

After the dinner, we went to Cafe Essen (Garema Arcade Shop 5-6, Garema Pl) to have a chat and some drinks. I decided to not order the usual Vienna Chocolate and go for an option under Essen Specialty Gourmet Coffee - the Hazelnut Truffle Latte (it was a 3-layered latte). The drink was quite watery but it still had a chocolate latte with a sweet hazelnut after-taste - not bad, but could have been better. My friend ordered a Cinnamon Frangelico Latte and it had a rich almond flavour, she finished it in no time!


Hazelnut Truffle Latte

Cinnamon Frangelico

The night was enjoyable afterall =)

15.9.09

Random bits from Sydney

Was too excited about the visit to Adriano Zumbo's that i nearly forgot to post about the other places that i ate while my trip in Sydney. Just before going to AZ's, i ate at a cafe in Balmain called 'All about...Romana's Cafe' (260 Darling Street, Balmain). It was a small cafe but i definately liked the half flower pattern glass at the top of the entrance! (i know i can be really random at times...) As i was looking at the menu, something caught my attention instantly - the green eggs and ham...now this is something that you don't find in an ordinary brekkie menu! So...for most obvious reasons, that was the thing i ordered! Basically the 'green eggs and ham' was scrambled eggs with house-made basil pesto, smoked ham and fetta cheese on a toasted sourdough.

All about...Romana's cafe's entrance
The Green Eggs & Ham
The scrambled eggs were quite light and fluffy and i simply loved the basil-pesto in it! i should probably try making it sometime! I would have preferred a hint of olive oil on top of the leaves, so they woudln't be as dry but tastier.
After the visit to Balmain, I was kinda full...very full indeed. So i thought of maybe getting something light for dinner. As i walked pass World Square I saw this long line of people in front of a Japanese restaurant called Miso Japanese Restaurant (World Square, Shop 20 and it is part of the MASUYA GROUP). Apparently its concept is based on Teishoku style dining which is made up of small dishes combined to create a healthy and balanced meal! Since i was still full, i ordered a unagi bento for $16.80 so i could eat later. I was happy with the eel as it was quite tasty and decent in size, overall the bento was very nice and filling (apart from the mayo macaroni)!

Miso's Unagi Bento, $16.80
Happy day with losta eating =9

12.9.09

Cupcakes on Pitt - Pitt Street Shop

Was walking along Pitt Street to hunt for some dinner and guess what I saw? 'Cupcakes on Pitt' (shop 2, 323-327 Pitt Street)! I have always wanted to try cupcakes from there, but verytime i went down to Sydney they were closed. This time when i went in, they were about to shut their doors, pack up and go home. Maybe that's why the lady looked at me with a what-are-you-doing-here-face (oopss!). They only had a small selection of cupcakes left and i ended up choosing the Tiramisu flavoured one ($2)!

I have to say that they are not really what I've expected. The cupcake base was rather dry and tasted like pre-mix batter. On top of it, it did not accentuate the chocolate flavour that it is supposed to have. The coffee cream frosting was soft and light but it still did not work well with the cupcake base to bring out the taste that a tiramisu cupcake should have.

10.9.09

A visit to Adriano Zumbo's Patisserie

Went down to Sydney and had a lovely time visiting Adriano Zumbo's Patisserie (296 Darling Street, Balmain). After reading countless blog reviews about it, tweets about it and actually seeing Adriano on Masterchef, I finally got a chance to visit the patisserie in person! (being located so far from Sydney, i don't have the priviledge to go to AZ's all the time!) I didn't have to look hard as i could see a queue of people from afar waiting eagerly to go into the tiny patisserie. I have to say that the size of the cakes are pretty generous and it is good value for money but the downside was that i didn't have enough room to fit all the cakes and desserts that i wanted to try.

I only managed to try the 'Ed Rock the Cradle' - which is milk coffee cheesecake with chocolate cheesecake base, coffee scented caramel, Italian meringue and a hollow chocolate ball & the 'Escape from a Colombian Rainforest' - which is (i think) layers of chocolate with chocolate mousse and had a cherry jelly centre and a fizzy cherry base!
Ed Rock the Cradle
Just some of the cakes available on the day, on the far left is the 'Escape from a Colombian Rainforest' *worth trying*
Obviously a trip to AZ's wouldn't be complete without taking home some of the famous Zumbo's Macaroons! Unfortunately there were only 4 flavours on the day...so sad...i guess i will have to come back for more! They had: Chocolate & Earl Grey, Rhubarb, Rice Pudding and one more that i can't recall (please help me, if you can). Overall, they were pretty good, but i found that some of the flavours were a bit too sweet for me. My favorite one is probably the rhubarb one (yes, the one that did not survive the trip!)
Unfortunately, as you can see, the rhubarb and the rice pudding macaroons did not survive the trip back to Canberra. Poor 'roons...
The main macaroon in this pic is also one of my favorites! (silly me forgot its name...)
Well...here is the end of the visit to AZ's Patisserie! But i will certainly be back for more! *drools

Update: The flavour for macaroon with a pinenut on top is Pinenut & Chocolate Macaroon (Thanks Simon for letting me know the missing flavour!)

4.9.09

Dinner Dishes - Quickies~

MP cooked 2 dishes for dinner tonight. One was the 'Prawn with Broccoli' stir-fry and the other one was a 'Peppered Beef with Capsicums' stir-fry! Was too lazy to cook anything and plus i have to finish off my job applications, which are a pain!!! I detest selection criterias and i reckon they are the worst part of a job application, at least for now! Sorry guys for such a quick post =_=

Prawn with Broccoli Stir-fry
Peppered Beef with Capsicum Stir-fry

I liked the 2nd dish the most because it tasted a bit like a restaurant dish but without all that MSG! Thanks for the yummy dinner!

1.9.09

A Day Trip Along King's Highway

This was a few weeks ago or probably a month ago. Just decided to go on a day trip along King's Highway. To be honest it was meant to be a day trip to Bungendore, but it was way too small and 1 hour was more than enough to explore the whole town. A friend had previously said that there is this bakery in Bungendore that makes the best pies around Canberra and its surrounds, so i decided to hunt for it and give it a try. The bakery is a family-owned business and it's called Gunna Doo Bakery (18 Gibraltar St.)

Bacon and Cheese Meat Pie, $3.90
I tried the Bacon and Cheese Meat Pie since the lady told me that it was the most popular one that they sell. I was never a fan of pies but I was pretty impressed by this one and the thing that amazed me the most was that it did not leave an after-taste in my mouth. The kind of taste that commercialised pies tend leave behind. Ewww! 
Ohn...Bungendore being a very small town also had a very small and cosy post office!
 
The next stop was Braidwood, this town is bigger than Bungendore and looked more historical. I was going to try another pie at the Braidwood Deli (91 Wallace St.) but unfortunately it was closed! (maybe next time...sad...) Well, so i decided to have dinner at the Braidwood Eureka Woodfire Pizzeria just next door. I heard some good things about it before so why not give it a try? I started with the Artichoke Salad and then had a large woodfire pizza with 2 flavours: I think of of them was the Eureka Supreme and the other one had prosciutto and potato slices (i loved the potato slices as they were so soft and tasty!). The salad and the pizza were both alright. I guess it would have been better if the bottom wasn't burnt (=_=) and if they hadn't put too much prosciutto in it. Overall it was nice dinner because the place and the service were both pleasant.
I think the dinner came to about $30 something.
Can't wait for more visits to other towns around Canberra!
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