Monday, June 27, 2011

Sorenzo Restaurant

I LOVE Japanese food, it's on top of my list of restaurants to eat at. Whether its cheap sushi train, or an expensive degustation, i am usually left very satisfied and happy :) I love that you can have healthy options to choose from, i love that it can be simple yet elegant, and i love that it is based around seafood (something i enjoy eating!)

I first came across this blogpost from Lorraine, and noted it in my diary, as its rare to find any really nice and outstanding japanese restaurants out west (most are all in the city from what i know). The only japanese place i dine at out west is Fat Panda in Canley Heights.

Apparently this place is a hidden gem! But during our meal, i was texting everyone haha :) I really enjoyed my lunch here at Sorenzo, the service is top notch, the food is amazing, and value wise - i found it quite cheap considering how much food we got, and the quality as well.

We had the Aki Kaiseke for $79 per person.

The restaurant was about one fifth occupied while we were eating, i'd like to see how busy it gets at dinner time?

creme brulee tea

This tea was so nice! Very vanillery, i had to ask for milk and sugar to enhance the flavours abit (i also don't like to drink tea straight unless its green tea, it's so much nicer with milk & sweetened!)

fresh oyster & sashimi

When this piece of art came out, me & Bigbear were very impressed! There was smoke coming out of the thing! Everything was just so freshand delicious i remember there was the usual sashimi pieces (salmon, kingfish & tuna) as well as oysters, cuttle fish and scallops.

i am texting pictures to my friends of each course :)

salmon tataki with wafu dressing

tuna tataki with wafu dressing

i had the salmon and Ian had the tuna, both presented beautifully, and wafu dressing was delicious! a quick google search tells me that it is a vinaigrette dressing based on soy sauce, it was really refreshing and tasty.

sweet & sour seafood soup

This soup tasted like a tom yum soup, but more flavorful the lemongrass was the star of the dish, along with the seafood (fish, mussel & prawn).

prawn with wasabi aoli

The prawn was cleverly presented, and i really liked the small piece of deep fried enoki(enogi?) mushroom.

mero miso yaki
(Grilled Mero (Tooth Fish) marinated in Japanese miso. Served with miso vinaigrette)

We were getting almost full when our mains arrived! I had the fish (also called 'tooth' fish i think), which was served on a bed of mixed vegetables which were well cooked and seasoned really well, the natural flavors of the vegetables still shined through when eating - i like that it wasnt heavily seasoned or covered in some kind of sauce.

This was the first time i had eaten this type of fish, i found it very sweet tasting, and the texture was unlikeany other fish i've had before too, the waitress told us that this was the most popular item on the menu!

wagyu steak

Ian said the steak was cooked really well, one of the best steaks he's had apparently :D

assorted sushi

We were completely stuffed at this point, but managed to finish off the plate of sushi they placed in front of us. Later on i realized that we didn't get our 'miso soup' but, it was fine because we were so so full, probably wouldn't of been able to finish the soup anyway!

chefs fine selection of desserts

The waitress told us that normally dessert is just icecream, but the chef had made us a plate with assorted desserts for us, this was really generous of them and the plate was too long to even take a photo of!

pannacotta with berries and cake crumble

lime sorbet w/ nut praline

green tea mousse, mixed fruits

chocolate brownie squares

chocolate cake pieces, creme brulee

The dessert platter was really outstanding, and made our whole meal really memorable! Ian really enjoyed the lunch, and since then I've told all my friends about this place, in hope to spread the word for the restaurant, because it truly is a well hidden gem!

I'll leave you with some photo's of a mushroom patch we saw outside the restaurant, how psychedelic!!

Sorenzo Restaurant
1A Bay drive, Meadow Bank

lunch: 11am-3.30pm
dinner: 5.30pm-9.30pm

closed mondays

ph: 9807 8303

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Ate my way through- Cabramatta tours

Last yr in July, Jennifer approached me about running Cabramatta tours for the Sydney International Food Festival in October, and i thought this was a great opportunity to show people around my 'hood' hehe :)

I've grown up visiting Cabra every weekend with my parents ever since i was able to walk. WE would have lunch, walk around and buy our groceries! It was the only area out west that had asian shops and an asian community.

When you walk around, it feels like you are in 'asia town' as you are surrounded by asian people of many backgrounds ( mainly vietnamese, chinese, thailand, laos, cambodia) but you can also see that people of other backgrounds are in Cabra as well!

You are surrounded by bargains! So many different types of shops and restaurants including cheap fabric stores, mobile phone stores, clothing stores, and you also have bargain shops, cake chops, video/cd/dvd stores, really i'm sure if you needed something - you can find it in Cabra :)

Now don't even get me started on the food! There are so many options to choose from! You can choose from Vietnamese, chinese, malaysian, korean, japanese, thai, laos, cambodian.. and there are also some more westernised restaurants if you dont feel like asian (but for real, why else would you come here for!)

You are also surrounded by sooo many grocery shops, fruit and veg shops, there is such a huge turn over for these shops as well as the meat and seafood shops that you are surely to get the best produce and at the cheapest prices as well.

I have had a blast doing these tours with Jen, we are both so passionate about food and to be able to share our knowledge and interests with people is just so much fun!

We do run them monthly now, so you can check those details out here:

I've come across a few people who have done the tour and then written about it on their blogs so you can have a read there if you are interested :)

Tan Viet Noodle house
3/100 John Street Cabramatta NSW 2166
(02) 9727 6853
Open Daily 9am-7pm

Tanviet noodle house had moved from a smaller restaurant a couple of years ago to the current location, seating capability now is about 90 people but this restaurant is ALWAYS busy! At lunch times there is a line that goes out all the way to the road and then along the sidewalk haha :D

SOme popular dishes are include hainan chicken, combination noodle soups, goat curry, and a few dessert drinks to choose from including 3 coloured sweet drink, sam bo luong ( a herbal type dessert) and ofcourse the ever so popular vietnamese coffee which you can have either iced or hot :)

Spicy beef with bread roll $9.50

This is a typical vietnamese dish, which is often made at home in a big pot to last a few days for dinner! It is simply a beef stew with carrots, and those herbs on top is basil leaves. This dish can be eaten with either rice of bread, but it hink the best way is with bread, using your hands to mop up all the great sauce :)

tomato rice with crispy skin chicken $11

THIS - is what everyone comes here for - the crispy chicken skin chicken, which you can order with either tomato rice of egg noodles, both comes with a bowl of the soup, which is essentially the stock that was used to cook the chicken in, which is so incredibly clear with no impurities, garnished with sliced shallots, you really can't help but keep sipping on it!

Everyone who's come on the tour has absolutely LOVEd the chicken. It is twice cooked hence you get the soft moist chicken flesh and the delicious crispy skin on the outside. Before i turned vego this was one of my favourite dishes to have in Cabra :)

Bau Truong
42 John Street, Cabramatta, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9727 4492
Open 7 days, 10am-11pm

Bau Truong is another popular restaurant in Cabramatta, with a huge double fold out menu filled with so many vietnamese dishes, i can see why they are doing so well (they also have a branch in neighbouring suburn Canley Heights!)

Prawn and jellyfish salad

beef with green mango salad

pork & taro spring rolls

mixed fresh rolls (including grilled pork, grilled prawn paste, shredded pork)

In all the restaurants in Cabra, you will get complimentary tea! Usually its jasmine but some places offer other tea's as well. This is great! I know a few places in the city that charge you a tea surcharge (so gay!)

Vietnamese pancake (banh xeo)

fresh fruits for after lunch

There is so much more food on offer, there's also many take out places, dessert shops, you dont even have to sit in a restaurant and eat you can talk and eat there is just food everywhere its a great culinary experience coming to Cabramatta and even though i've been coming for 20 or so yrs i still don't get tired of going, i love Cabra!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Double chocolate yo-yo's

Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a super duper awesome long weekend (if you're not in Oz, we had our queens birthday long weekend so we got Monday off from work woohoo!)

On Saturday, after i did an hr bootcamp, and a cardiobox class at the gym, i came home to cook brunch for my boyfriend, and then had the whole afternoon to myself. I was stumped at what to do.. It had been a really long time since i had no plans on a saturday! So i went through my CRAVE cookbook and noticed i had bookmarked this recipe, so i gave it a go! Little did i know, i'd be finished 3 hours later..!

Some tips!

1) the mixture, is quite dry and stuff, after you mix the wet with the dry. So using your hands (after you use the spatula) try and pat together everything,. I tried to roll it together like dough- there was too much- so i gave up.

2) before you roll the teaspoon full balls - give it a bit of a massage first, get it all together, because if you just start rolling it first - the mixture will crumble when you try to flatten it with a fork

as you can see above, there are two different textures of balls. on the left, a more smooth ball (these ones i massaged with my palm and fingers) and on the right are the less smooth rolls (these are the ones i tried to roll first before massaging)

tray # 1

you can see they cracked! i assumed the mixture was too dry, so i ended up adding a couple table spoons of milk into the mixture, but it didnt change anything.

tray # 2
slightly better looking!

tray #3

The chocolate buttercream was just amazing! the use of real dark chocolate in both the biscuit mixture and the buttercream, just made it taste so nice! I was in a creative mood so i ended up wrapping them in clear cellophane with some fancy ribbon work :O)

Everyone who tried them liked these biscuits, im so glad, as alot of time and effort went into them!

Double chocolate yo-yo's

makes 36 double biscuits

250g unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup cnfectioners sugar, sifted
125g dar chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid
3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cornflour (or cornstarch)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

choclate butter icing

90g unsalted butter, room temperature
125g (1 cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
35g dark chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

preheat the oven to 170C. Line baking tray with baking paper

using an electric mixer, cream butter and icing sugar until pale and fluffy, then add cooled tepid melted chcolate.

sift flour and custard powder or cornflour and add to the creamed mixture. work the mixture using a rubber spatula to form a stiff dough, adding vanilla extract halfway through

rol teaspoons of mixture into balls and place on prepared tray, use back of fork dipped in flour to flattern each ball.

bake 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of the biscuits. to ceck if they are cooked, use a spatula to lift a biscuit off the tray, and if its evenly coloured undeneath with no uncooked dough visible in the centre, then it is cooked. allow biscuits to cool on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

chocolate butter icing

using electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and fliffy, add icing sugar gradually. add cooled melted chocolate and vanilla extract and beat thoroughly until combined.

join the biscuits together in pairs with the chocolate butter cream, allow to set, store in airtight container.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Viennese brownies

These brownies were whipped up for a friend's birthday, and they were enjoyed by him and his workmates! I kept one for myself and B.B, they are just right - not too dense, a bit of fudgey, deliciously dark, and the cream cheese really lightened it altogether!


60g dark chocolate
1/2 cup margarine
2 eggs
1 cup sugar (i used half cup, still nice and sweet)
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
sliced almonds


250g cream cheese at room temperature ( i used homebrand, worked out fine)
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp almond essence (optional, i left it out)

preheat oven to 180C

for the filling, combine and mix together all ingredients.

for the brownie batter, melt chocolate and margarine together (in a microwave on low level is fine). Cool.

Beat eggs, add sugar and chocolate mixture.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, add to chocolate mixture and mix well.

pour half the chocolate batter into a greased and lined 20 cm square pan, spread with cream cheese mixture.

top with remaining batter, sprinkle with almonds.

Bake for about 40-45 minutes. Cool in tin.