29.1.10

Found it! Awesome site!

Was searching for some random Brazilian food-related sites on the web and found the coolest site ever (in my opinion, at least). It's called Marketing na Cozinha which translates into Marketing in the Kitchen! It has so many awesome food-related gadgets, inventions and places to visit! Sadly it's only in Portuguese...but HEY, it has loads and loads of pictures that doesn't require you to read the content to know what's going on =)
Hope you will all enjoy it!

Just a few photos that caught my attention:

- Check out the GODIVA chocoiste place in Harajuku! Just makes me wanna fly to Japan now!


The walls of Godiva in Harajuku
[Picture taken from Marketing na Cozinha]


Chocolate Stamp
[Picture taken from Marketing na Cozinha]


Lemon and Ice Tray
[Picture taken from Marketing na Cozinha]

26.1.10

Husky Bakery & Cafe

Something you must check out in Huskisson? (around Jervis Bay) The Old Baker's Van (11 Currambene Street)...where? Husky Bakery Cafe! Seeing a vintage van is so cool and the yellow colour just makes it even cuter. Husky Bakery Cafe is decorated in a way that resembles country-style bakeries which i like very much. It kinda reminds me of the bakeries in a town that i've visited in France.

Old Baker's Van

Husky Bakery smells divine the moment you walk in! I just love the smell of freshly baked bread...just to imagine that lovely golden crust embracing a soft and fluffy white center... *drools. The place is often packed with people and long queues but it is a lovely place for family lunches and hang-outs with friends. Apparently, they are famous for their pies and my mission this time was to try their pies!
I tried 3 pies in total and it was definately filling! (of course they were shared...)

- Indian Curry Pie: it was ok.
- Husky Steak Pie: it was nice but i had better! :D
- Chilli Con Carne Pie with Sour Cream on top (special for the day): it had a little piece of corn chip sticking out of the pie as a decoration - i liked this combo, it tasted quite Mexican!
(There is only pictures for the Husky Steak Pie because the other ones didn't turn out quite good)

Husky Steak Pie

24.1.10

Pelican Rocks Seafood Restaurant + Oysters

If you happen to be around the Jervis' Bay area, you should go and visit Greenwell Point. Firstly because it has some awesome oyster farms that serves VERY fresh oysters (including the famous Greenwell Point Oysters) and secondly, it's where the much-loved-by-the-locals Pelican Rocks Restaurant (115 Greenwell Point Road) is.

Going back to the oysters business...with quite a few farms to visit, i would probably recommend 'Kingtide Oysters' because their oysters are awesome! It's fresh and has the nicest texture that leaves you craving for more, and the awesome thing is that it costs only $10/dozen (i ended up buying 3 dozens)! So if you are definately going to Greenwell Point, don't forget to bring an esky.


Second attraction in Greenwell Point? The Pelican Rocks Seafood Restaurant. Ask the locals and they will tell you about it! It's recommended that you make a booking beforehand to avoid disappointment, especially if you are going for a day trip. It's not fine dining but more like a family dining place. It's nicely decorated with a marine theme and has a few pelican statues around the restaurant, and if you are lucky enough, you get to sit with a pelican statue! The menu is a mix of traditional and modern cuisine that uses fresh seafood and it also has a variety of chicken and steak dishes.



Entrees:

  • Smoked Salmon, semi-sundried tomato & avocado lettuce wraps - loved the smoked salmon and it didn't taste artificial.

  • Prawns and Scallops with a Thai chilli & lime sauce served with rice - seafood was very fresh but the sauce was perhaps a bit overpowering (a bit too sweet) for the prawns and scallop



Mains

  • Grilled Steak with Prawns and Chilli Salsa - nice steak!

  • Seafood Basket - apart from the salty prawns, it was lovely! Unlike the traditional seafood basket, it is not 100% fried food! It had prawn skewers, mussels, oysters, crumbled calamari, scallops and fish and seasonal fruits! It was a lot of food!


22.1.10

Tongue & Groove!

Tongue & Groove, one of Canberra's newly opened establishments (Corner of Genge and Bunda St.) that have already become a popular place for after-work hangouts, casual dinners or just a laid back place to get together. Its interior designs are one-of-a-kind with beautiful decorated walls and a magnificent ceiling which so often leaves me staring at it longer than i would like to. Tongue & Groove has a bar in front for people who just want to chill and chat and an area for hungry diners to savour the humble menu that it offers. We started out with a few drinks...

Then, we ordered the most important part! The FOOD.

  • Blue-eye cod 'fish fingers' with aioli and fresh lemon

  • Pot of Spring Bay mussels with chorizo, chilli, tomato and garlic, wood-fire bread

  • Scotch filled steak sandwich with caramelized onion, blue cheese dressing, baby spinach and tomato on rye

  • Pan tossed calamari with garlic croutons, salsa Verde, watercress and aioli

  • Grilled steak with prawns (forgot the exact name of this dish)

  • Poached chicken breast salad with broccoli and sundried tomato
The food was simple but enjoyable.

Blue-eye cod 'fish fingers' with aioli and fresh lemon
Pot of Spring Bay mussels with chorizo, chilli, tomato and garlic WITHOUT the wood-fire bread
Pan tossed calamari with garlic croutons, salsa Verde, watercress and aioli
Grilled Steak with Prawns
Poached chicken breast salad with broccoli and sundried tomato
Scotch filled steak sandwich with caramelized onion, blue cheese dressing, baby spinach and tomato on rye

18.1.10

Friend's B'day @ China Plate

My friend, who loves chinese food, decided to celebrate his birthday in a relatively new chinese restaurant that was opened along Northbourne Avenue last year - China Plate (41-43 Northbourne Avenue). The restaurant has a very simple exterior which so often makes it hard to notice, and it does take a second glance to spot it. However, as you enter the premises all that simplicity is vanished, being replaced by rich tones of brown, big round ceiling lights and vivid-coloured paintings...not to mention the big golden chinese characters at the front entrance.


The menu was somewhat interesting as it contained a few dishes that did not fall under the category of 'traditional chinese' dish, and we gave some of them a try. One of them was the Wasabi Beef, which honestly did not have a hint of wasabi taste but rather it tasted like capsicum beef. I really liked bittersweet taste of the Pork with Grapefruit Sauce. We also ordered Pepper & Salt Squid, Baby Spinach, Beef Brisket Hot Pot, Fish Hot Pot (no photos available because all of them turned out blurry), Crispy Noodles with Chicken and Fried Rice. The highlights for me were the Pork with grapefruit sauce and the Beef Brisket Hot Pot - i just love beef brisket, especially when it's perfectly tender and juicy.
1. Pork with grapefruit sauce 2. Salt and Pepper Squid 3. Wasabi Beef 4. Baby Spinach
China Plate's serving portions are rather small and it is relatively more expensive than an average chinese restaurant in Canberra but having paid around $25 for the meal is not too bad for dining in Canberra.

Crispy Noodles with Chicken

Fried Rice
Yummylicious Beef brisket hot pot


14.1.10

Sabayon

Not long after trying out Courgette, i went to Sabayon (Shop 4, Melbourne Building, Canberra City) - a sister restaurant of Courgette. Sabayon is smaller than Courgette but the settings are very similar: squarish tables laid with nice white tablecloths, dim lights and a combination of white and dark brown walls.
The dishes in both restaurants are very similar in both style and the combination of taste; it did not come as a big surprise to me because i knew that both menus were designed by the same chef - James Mussillon (did a bit of reading beforehand). A difference that i noticed was that Courgette tends to incorporate more flavours into a dish, whereas Sabayon opts for simple and clean flavours.



Entrees:

  • Basil infused sashimi Tuna with pickled ginger, cucumber salad and a soy and mustard seed dressing - it was changed to kingfish, loved the freshness and the sweetness of the fish

  • Seared Queensland scallops with a confit duck terrine, soubise puree and an apple salad - very similar to the one in Courgette; scallops were not cooked evenly


Mains:

  • Grass fed yearling beef fillet with truffle mash, roasted king brown mushroom, green beans and port wine jus - beef was very tender and soft, cooked just right! i liked the mushroom on top =)

  • Crispy skin Atlantic salmon with a ragout of Eden Bay mussels, baby leeks, kipfler potatoes and a Champagne buerre blanc - I wasn't too impressed with this dish because it was way too simple (both the taste and presentation), i could have probably cooked that at home.


And finally...the desserts:

  • Sticky Meringue with fresh berries, crème chiboust and passionfruit coulis - trust me, it's very sticky! I still liked the fresh berries...so yummy! i love fresh fruits =)

  • Selection of Australian and international cheese served with fruit and quince paste - i totally forgot the names...but there was blue cheese! i liked the home-made biscotti that came as a compliment for the cheese.

13.1.10

Mona Lisa recreated with coffee

Saw this link posted by my friend on fb...'too cool to pass by' (totally agrees)




[Pictures taken from Design-o-saurus]

11.1.10

YAY for Smartbox(es)!

Running out of ideas for birthday pressies? Get a Smartbox! With 7 ranges to choose from, there is certainly one that will be perfect for your 'recipient'. The ranges are: Temptations for two, Table for two, Serenity, Adventure, Extreme, Unique Escapes and Wine Getaways. Being someone who adores food, i wouldn't mind receiving either of the first two smartboxes =P
In a nutshell, you select (and pay) a Smartbox from the available ranges and give it to your recipients. They will then select the gift from the guidebook and make a reservation! Just don't forget to presert the gift certificate at the venue. For more information, please visit the website.



[Picture taken from SmartBox website]


10.1.10

Pre-New Year's Dinner 30.12.09

Was invited to an auntie's place for a dinner to celebrate New Year! It was kinda like a potluck dinner and a group of people were invited. Usually in dinners like this there are heaps of good food, just because aunties are also mothers who prepare the best home-made dishes. For this occasion, I made pickled cabbage and beef stir-fry but for some reason, i forgot to take photos of it (silly me). There were heaps of food varying from noodles, stir-frys, finger foods and desserts.

There were Apple and Corn Muffins, Hong Kong-styled Salad (which is made of fruits, vegetables and eggs mixed with mayo), Braised lamb - which i didn't try because i am not a big fan of lamb (I just don't like the 'lamby' taste). I really liked the prawn spring roll because it looked very pretty and at the same time, it was very delicious - the prawn was wrapped with some basil and mint leaves and then with a spring roll skin and consequently, deep fried. The prawn heads were not spared either as they were deep fried a la japanese way.

Traditional dishes such as the fried hokkien noodles, chicken & black fungi stir-fry and chinese dumplings were also present. Despite being traditional pork & chives dumplings, they tasted different with the addition of dried shrimps - not bad.
I also liked the pastries and there were two flavours: vegetables and spinach & ricotta.The highlight for me was probably the Northern Chinese Cold Salad that the auntie made. The ingredients were fresh and the sauce just complemented perfectly with the salad - perfect for this HOT summer. It had chinese glass noodles, shredded chicken, carrots, cucumbers, black fungi, coriander and it was topped with basil and a bit of mint leaves. I am not certain of how the sauce is made but from what i heard it consisted of soy sauce, chinese vinegar, chilli, lemon juice, salt, pepper, sugar and a bit of chicken stock (don't know the proportions).

Pan-fried Chinese Pork & Chives Dumplings...with dried shrimps

My fave dish of the night...i think i had 3 serves =P

The whole table filled with yummy food: (ohhh...i can spot my dish!)

8.1.10

Courgette Restaurant - Graduation dinner


Went to Courgette Restaurant (54 Marcus Clarke St, City), which has been awarded a hat for 3 years straight,  for a friend's graduation dinner sometime around mid-December (i know, it's been ages ago). The interior design it's modern and the restaurant is quite dim to maintain that romantic atmosphere. The waiter was really friendly and knowledgeable, his service was really good. We all ordered an entree, a main and a dessert and that almost covered 75% of the menu! We were treated with some lovely amuse buche (ocean trout) and very nice house-made bread

                           Left: Amuse buche                           Right: Grape Sorbet, served just before the desserts 

For entrees we ordered:

  • Sauteed Yamba King Prawn with preserved lemon and parmesan risotto, smoked ocean trout and leek tart, honey balsamic dressing

  • Orange and Szechuan pepper pressed confit duck, seared Queensland scallops, apple and fennel puree - the scallops were huge and very juicy, cooked very nicely
The Yamba King Prawn entree taken in 4 different angles
Orange and Szechuan pepper pressed confit duck, seared Queensland scallops, apple and fennel puree

For the mains: (overall i would have enjoyed the dishes more, if they were 'cleaner & simpler' without having too many flavours going on at once)

  • Seared ocean trout with Moreton bay bug cigar, corn custard, shaved Hawkesbury squid and double bacon jus - I think there were too many flavours going on in this dish and that kinda made it a bit too rich for me. However, the components by itself were good.

  • Roast duck breast and confit leg with Toulouse sausage, pickled red cabbage, baby turnips, prune and Armagnac sauce - Duck was quite tender and it went well with the cabbage

  • Roast Riverina spiced lamb loin with speck and cauliflower puree, fondant potato and confit vine-ripened tomato

  • 90 day grain fed fillet of beef with potato bobbin, pea puree, roasted baby beetroots and bordelaise sauce - the beef was very tender and juicy!




The night just wouldn't be complete without the desserts and our selections were:

  • Strawberry and plum terrine with traditional panna cotta and glass biscuits - loved the selection of fresh berries that were served with the lovely panna cotta and also the Persian Fairy Floss

  • Warm Belgian chocolate and fresh raspberry tart with vanilla cream Chantilly - not rich and yet tasty

  • Vanilla crème brulee with seasonal mixed berries and short bread finger - probably the best of the desserts for the night. Smooth and creamy crème brulee with a thin layer of burned sugar

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