Saturday, December 26, 2009

Over the top Blog Award

This award was given to me by Ellie from Almost Bourdain, & Karen from Missklicious. Ellie's one back at the start of November (so bad i know!) so i'd like to thank Ellie & Karen for this award this was so sweet of both of them (and such a surprise that Ellie with her blog status would even think to give me this award at all hehe)

I'm sure most of you have visited Ellie's blog at least once (i'm a long time reader and rare commenter!) but incase you havent, please visit her as her site is really lovely with such simple but fantastic photo's and lots of yummy restaurants.

Karen's blog has a mix of food & fashion, travel & life, a great mix if you ask me :)

Anyway i have to answer a list of questions (with one word only) so here i go.. & further below i have given out this award to six others :)

  1. Where is your cell phone? pillow
  2. Your hair? black
  3. Your mother? strong
  4. Your father? caring
  5. Your favorite food? fries
  6. Your dream last night? relationship
  7. Your favorite drink? chai
  8. Your dream/goal? toned
  9. What room are you in? mine
  10. Your hobby? exercising
  11. Your fear? bugs
  12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? japan
  13. Where were you last night? home
  14. Something that you aren’t? selfish
  15. Muffins? banana
  16. Wish list item? new-oven
  17. Where did you grow up? sydney
  18. Last thing you did? eating
  19. What are you wearing? boxers
  20. Your TV? old
  21. Your pets? 5
  22. Friends? happy
  23. Your life? busy
  24. Your mood? headache
  25. Missing someone? boyfriend
  26. Vehicle? nissan
  27. Something you’re not wearing? bra
  28. Your favorite store? spotlight
  29. Your favorite color? pink
  30. When was the last time you laughed? annie
  31. Last time you cried? sunday
  32. Your best friend? richard
  33. One place that I go to over and over? cabramatta
  34. One person who emails me regularly? richard
  35. Favorite place to eat? city

    nomitlikeitshot a new friend i've made in the blogging world :)
    therawnoodle also a semi-newbie with restaurant reviews and some recipes
    acupcakeortwo a good friend who has a few interesting posts under her sleaves
    notquitenigella a site i log into everyday bcos there's always somethin new to read
    sugarlaced lovin all her baked goodies and home cooked recipes a friend we go way back who is embracing foodblogging more and more
    trissalicious a friend who has an uncanny way of starting her posts with a story to read

The Coffee Bean

612 Darling Street
Rozelle NSW 2039

After a fun (but very seedy night) out in the city, and a nice sleep in at the hotel, we were all starved for some food in our stomachs. I had never been to Rozelle before, and seen a review on this restaurant, and i had my diary with me so it was time to tick off another restaurant name in my 'to-eat' list.

breakfast wrap w/ bacon, scrambled eggs,
haloumi, rocket & onion jam $13.50

Jeremy said his wrap was good (well he showed it rather than said it, with his nodding and mouth chewing a big bite hehe)

poached eggs, crispy pancetta,
spinach & hollandaise on brioche $14.50

I ordered this like Wensy but gave Richard the pancetta. The brioche was slightly sickening and dry.. but my eggs were poached perfectly.

eggs w/ bacon, sausage, field mushroom
& roasted tomato $16

Richard had a bit of everything, (plus my pancetta) so it was a protein packed meal for him.

All in all, i wasn't at all impressed with the food here, not a place that i would go back too, it just didn't satisfy my breakfast craving. However Richard did enjoy his mixed breakfast plate, so i'd say its not a very good place for a vegetarian, and i think slightly overpriced (but it is close to the city i suppose).

Cantina Bar & Grill

245 Oxford Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Ph: 02 9357 3033

Our good friend Clayton held his birthday dinner here on a warm balmy night in October. With about 10 guests (small & intimate) we had the $50 per person set menu, which was so much food (even for me the vegetarian) so i can't imagine how stuffed everyone else was feeling.

I have never been to a Spanish restaurant that isn't loud and packed with diners, and a few rowdy tables making the place almost impossible to hear anyone from the otherside of the table talking. This adds to the ambience of the restaurant, and its hard not to have a good time :)

Food came out fairly quickly, lots of tapas dishes, starting with salads and dips, then vegetables, then meat, meat & more meat (so much meat!)

baby spinach salad
w/ roast pumpkin, goats cheese, pine nuts
& grilled peppers

I particularly liked the goats cheese as it was extremely creamy with a strong tang on the tongue. The baby spinach leaves were fresh and un-bruised, a lovely fresh salad with a generous sprinkling of pine nuts on top.

chickpea salad
w/ cucumber, grilled peppers, spanish onion,
mint & manchego cheese

The chickpea salad was VERY healthy, and packed a punch with the added onions and mint. I wasnt sure of what what sprinkled on top, but came home & checked the menu- these cheese was light and not too strong on the palate.

Manchego cheese is the most important and well known sheeps milk cheese in Spain. It is aged for 3 months or longer, semi-firm texture, and ranges from being mild to sharp depending on the time it is aged for.

dip plate
w/ white bean, chickpea, beetroot, pumpkin,
eggplant & grilled olive sourdough

With four types of dip in the bowl, i couldn't help but have sometimes 2 or even 3 dip flavours on my piece of bread. My favourite would have to be the beetroot.

panfried haloumi
w/ chargrilled marinated red pepper & lemon

This one piece was definitely not enough for me or anyone else, we all only got one to two pieces each (depending on how quick we were to grab!). The chewy texture and saltiness, and having been panfried, this little yellow piece of cheese is so enticing!

pan fried field mushrooms
w/ garlic, parsley & jerez

The mushrooms were firm and flavour was soaked right to the middle. The pieces were large and at this stage i was starting to feel full already.

dusted calamari
w/ chilli & lime mayo

chilli tiger prawns
cooked in chilli, tomato, garlic & parsley

patatas bravas
potato cubes w/ onion
chilli & tomato sauce

I've had better patatas bravas (@ El Bulli) and here, they just didn't make me feel the same way. Firstly there weas not enough sauce, and secondly, the potatoes were flavorless.

grilled spanish chorizo
w/romesco sauce

lamb & pork baked meatball
w/ garlic, paprika & tomato

paella w/
calamari, clams, prawns,
mussels, green peas & roasted peppers

The paella came out last (not the first time i've seen it come out last) and by this point everyone was really full, and only really picking the mussels out and trying the rice.

With paying $50 per person, i'd say everyone but me got their money's worth, as half of it was all meaty things. El Bulli still stands as my favourite spanish restaurant, but for Richard to have tried all the meat dishes i think he liked this restaurant very much.

Friday, December 25, 2009


194-204 Faraday Street
Carlton VIC 3053 Australia

After a long stroll up and down the iconic Yarra River in Melbourne's City Centre, we ventured to the Crown casino to find a shop that served iced chai tea drinks. After almost getting lost (due to some area's being closed off) we came to find that the shop was no longer there :(

So a short drive later we found ourselves in Carlton, and Ann brought me to this busy shop cafe that took up almost a hand full of the street's numbers. With heaps of people lining up to buy the larger sized cakes and sweets, we pushed our way to the left of the long counter, where you can find small bite sized morsels, (and so you can taste more!)

All these 'mignon & dolci' (mignon meaning cute or dainty) were only $1.80 each, so we bought a few.. Well, Ann let me choose !! :) With another two rooms full of seats, we luckily scored one at the front behind the windows.

Coffee Mignon
profiterole filled with coffee custard & topped with a coffee fondent

Mini Lemon Tart
a shortbread base filled with lemon custard

Pistacchio mignon
profiterole filled with pistacchio custard and topped with a pistacchio fondent

Vanilla canolli & chocolate canolli
a crunchy pastry filled with vanilla/choclate custard

(the chocolate cannoli was missing icing sugar!)

three chocolates mousse cup

say 'dolci!'

After finishing our 6 desserts, Ann saw a $2 coin outside on the path ... if you look closely you can see Ann outside (red top) picking it up Lols. So with another $2 in wallet i bought another two!

Bigne San Giuseppe
a light doughnut pastry filled with
strega chantilly cream and coated in sugar

Chocolate cheese cake

My favourites have to be the chocolate cheese cake, the mousse cup, and the chocolate cannoli. When we finished we had to sit for a bit, and let idea of us just gorging on almost $16 worth of mini cakes sink in. At this point i was thinking "Yup. DEFINITELY going for a run in the morning!!"

Brunetti's was a nice cafe to sit & chat, and with such a huuuuuge selection of cakes, tarts, biscuits, mignon, chocolates and nougat to choose from, the store also offers gelati, icy granita's, fresh smoothies and juices, foccacia, salads, crepes & over 40 handmade chocolates.

One visit is absolutely not enough, but for our short weekend trip - it was.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Daring Bakers December 2009 - Gingerbread House

This month's challenge seemed like a really hard one. So like me and my procrastinating ways - i left it till the last minute.. CHRISTMAS DAY! I had Richard's help assembling and decorating, and it was really easy actually (and FUN!)

I love how our house turned out and we're going to make it a yearly tradition :D How cute is the santa i got him from breadtop for $4 along with two mushrooms stools hee hee.

For the decorations i used:

Starburst chews for the roof
a raspberry tartlette for a window
large marshmallows for the bush
a timtam for the door
skittles for the door knob + the sides

everything i already had at home.

'miaow! mewwy xmas!'

The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.

Anna's Recipe:
Spicy Gingerbread Dough (from Good Housekeeping)

2 1/2 cups (500g) packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups (360mL) heavy cream or whipping cream
1 1/4 cups (425g) molasses
9 1/2 cups (1663g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoon(s) baking soda
1 tablespoon(s) ground ginger


7. Use chilled rolled dough, floured poster board patterns, and sharp paring knife to cut all house pieces on cookie sheet, making sure to leave at least 1 1/4 inches between pieces because dough will expand slightly during baking. Wrap and reserve trimmings in refrigerator. Combine and use trimmings as necessary to complete house and other decorative pieces. Cut and bake large pieces and small pieces separately.

8. Chill for 10 minutes before baking if the dough seems really soft after you cut it. This will discourage too much spreading/warping of the shapes you cut.

9. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until pieces are firm to the touch. Do not overbake; pieces will be too crisp to trim to proper size.

10. Remove cookie sheet from oven. While house pieces are still warm, place poster-board patterns on top and use them as guides to trim shapes to match if necessary. Cool pieces completely before attempting to assemble the house.

Royal Icing:

1 large egg white
3 cups (330g) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon almond extract

Beat all ingredients until smooth, adding the powdered sugar gradually to get the desired consistency. Pipe on pieces and allow to dry before assembling. If you aren't using it all at once you can keep it in a small bowl, loosely covered with a damp towel for a few hours until ready to use. You may have to beat it slightly to get it an even consistency if the top sets up a bit. Piped on the house, this will set up hard over time

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


76 Michael Street
(corner Rowe St)
Fitzroy North
VIC 3068
Ph: 03 9077 7379

Fitzroy is located about 10 minutes drive from the Cite Centre of Melbourne, & Ann knew a great breakkie place we could eat at before hitting the beach @ Sorrento.

It's about 10am and we arrive to a bustling shop of breakfast patrons, at first we quickly took over an emptying table outside - but with the slightly chilly wind we ended up waiting for an inside table.

Mitte is named after central Berlin's Mitte district (and also hip cafe quarter), but the menu is completely Australian (and semi-gourmet if ask me). With items like middle eastern fruit compote (compote of dried fruits, vanila, cloves and orange blossom water, topped with toasted pistacios and almonds, served with yogurt) and potato and chorizo omlette (served with a tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil salad, collingwood college kitchen garden tomato and fennel chutney and sourdough toast, it's almost like you can choose your own adventure at breakfast time hehe.

Also on the menu are the classic egg dishes, 3 cheese omlette, free range poached eggs with smoked salmon (for the people who arent feeling very daring)

The building used to be an old milk bar which was burnt down, and thanks to the large windows is now a wonderfully sun-lit cafe (yay to natural lighting hee hee)

Cappuccino $3.30

Calmer SUtra Chai w/ soy $5

My chai tea was mildly spiced, and if it weren't for the creamy soy milk i probably wouldn't of liked it as much. It was a large serving though, one pot yielding just over two cups.

Croque monsieur $12.50

Linh's came out first: an open toasted sandwich of dijon mustard, bechamel (that creamy lasagne goodness stuff), gypsy ham & St Claire swiss cheese. With four large pieces, she had trouble finishing this off but from what i could see, it looked a bit too dry (i prefer a larger topping : bread ratio in these food cases).

three cheese omelette $15

Omlette served baking dish style, the three cheeses being marinated goats fetta, grana padano and buffalo mozzarella (not your usual tasty cheese omlette) topped with green olive, cherry tomato, parmasen and rocket salad, served with sour dough toast. I had a taste of Ann's omlette, and it was salty (yum) but did not make me regret ordering my chick pea bake ... (further below)

iced chocolate $5

Jess's towering glass of iced hot chocolate looked so appetizing i couldnt help but take a sip soon after she had her first. Extra creamy with lacings of chocolate topping around the bottom and sides, as well as a dollop of creamy vanilla icecream - this was a true iced chocolate that makes you keep taking huge sips ahh..

free ranged poached eggs
with middle eastern chickpea bake $15

Both me & Jessica had this (Ann had been raving on about this for a long time prior our Melbourne trip) and said that i'd LOVE it. And LOVED it i did! What a massive breakfast for only $15 i was amazed st how full i was (and i couldn't finish it all either).

The flavoury chickpea bake was topped with a meredith marinated goats fetta & herd and shallot salad, with half of a large avocado, lemon wedges and sourdough toast. My eggs were perfectly poached (this usually leads to a GREAT day ahead for me if my eggs are cooked the way i like them), the chickpea bake was fantastic with a salsy tomato sauce i really couldn't get enough of it.

With such a cosy & warm environment, a casual friendly/family vibe, good service, and an excellent selection on the menu, i can understand why this place can be packed on weekend mornings.

Afterwards it was onto Sorrento Beach for a picnic of snacks, lazing in the sun, and photo-taking :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


My aunt had come back from Japan with some goodies, one of them being Mochi. Now i haven't had mochi before.. maybe the vietnamese kind but nothing REAL from jap.

The wrapping & cover box were pretty, the box cover had a cartoon illustration, looks like an eatery house of some sort?

There were two flavours, red bean & green tea (both my fav icecream flavours as well woohoo!)

These were really fresh (they must've been, my aunt told me not to leave them for too long because they were still fresh). Really soft and a nice chewable texture, unfortunately i didn't LOVE them, not something i'd go out & purchase myself anytime soon.

Here are a few Mochi recipes i've found on the interwebs, but i don't think i have the patience to handle something so sticky!