Friday, April 11, 2014

Visting le sister who was holiday-ing in Melbourne

I flew to Melbourne in the beginning of last month to visit my sister Nikki and boy, was it one of the most frustrating trips I'd had so far! First of all, my flight was delayed just to be cancelled an hour later! GAH! Was so mad I was ready to snap at someone, ANYONE! But of course, I didn't. One guy did though; he demanded for immediate cash upfront and yelled expletives at a poor staff who was handing out replacement flight tickets. Hey, I get it, you're ticked off. But so was everyone but how was taking out your frustration on the staffs helping you get there faster?

BUT SCREW YOU ANYWAY, TIGER AIRWAYS!

Moving on, I arrived there the next day and after dropping off my stuffs, met up with Nikki and walked to our destination together, the ever-popular Chez Dre. The cafe was bustling by the time we arrived there and we took a couple of pictures while waiting to be seated.


Okay, maybe more than that but I'm just gonna post a couple lol.


I ordered one of their specials of the day, which honestly did not impress me. For such a long waiting time, I was expecting a LOT better because while the eggs were perfectly poached, it tasted just like very boring Eggs Atlantic, without the Hollandaise sauce. I regretted ordering it. :(


Especially when Nikki's Grand Petit Dejeuner had arrived. I looked on in envy and was happy again when she passed me some samples of all the goodies on it. Everything tasted soooo good, from the flavorful, juicy roasted tomatoes to the creamy roasted potato chunks and the fresh avocado. Now, this is a dish worth waiting 40 minutes for (okay, not really but you get the gist.)


Before we left, I purchased some macarons for the brother and sister-in-law.



Chez Dré on Urbanspoon

Had dessert in Chokolait after a couple of hours of roaming the CBD. And speaking of roaming, another frustrating thing about the trip was that it was sweltering hot. WHY MELBOURNE, WHYYYYY T_T

Gratuitous self-indulgent big ass selfies.




The jaffa iced chokolait was hands-down the most memorable iced chocolate I have had, with hints of fresh, citrus-y orange. You know it's good when a person who wasn't even really into chocolates gulped it down and a health-conscious one was just like, "Meh, what is this diet thing you speak of?" (that's yours truly by the way, heh)


Here's a healthier option. *snorts* Who am I kidding? Fresh and generous serve. Every bite provided a tiny high that makes you think, who needs drugs when you have chocolate?


Yums!

Chokolait on Urbanspoon

Due to my sister's insistence to have dinner at the ever-popular (read: ever packed) ChangGo, 6-ish pm found us taking a number and queuing up outside the bustling restaurant. I remember whining throughout the ordeal as I was quite hungry so thank God someone saved up from all that waiting by offering us a number that was way ahead of us! :D

Seriously, there would have been at least an hour worth of wait otherwise. =O


We came mainly for this; their popular 8-flavored pork belly (best shared between 3-4 people). I noticed that most tables ordered this as well!


Close-up.



All of them were well-marinated, with each flavor being distinctive. It would have been a very bland meal otherwise! I won't go as far as to give every flavor their own review because this is mostly a preference thing but suffice to say, you'll be able to detect each and everyone of them. The meat itself was good enough to be eaten on its own (if the original was anything to go by!). Tender and fatty enough!


Not for the faint-hearted though!


We ordered a seafood kimchi soup as well. It was really delicious too, not to mention quite generously packed.


Happy, satisfied fatties. Tata, retard. See you in November.


ChangGo on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ad: Oven Express

Hello! As most of you probably know (especially those who are following me on Instagram), I have been baking quite a lot. Here are some pictures of the successes that I've had with my new hobby! Hope they make you drool. :)

1. 3-ingredient Nutella cookies!

Which I improvised by stuffing in some roasted hazelnuts for an extra crunch.


When they were just fresh out the oven.


2. Buttermilk cake!


Hands up, who loves the crust of baked goods? If so, you'll love this one.


3. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

I swear this picture does not do the cake one bit of justice, cause it was VERY moist and soft!


I did make the mistake of pouring the frosting on while the cake was still slightly warm from the oven though. Oh well..


4. Crispy and crunchy chocolate chip cookies!

Which according to many, are my best ones yet! I dislike chewy cookies.


5. And finally, the healthy oatmeal and honey cookies!

The hubby finished these in one seating. Now you know why he's fat hehe... But all jokes aside, the taste of these cookies definitely defied their healthiness.


All these have obviously resulted in a less-than-satisfactory cleanliness of my oven and honestly, who can be bothered to clean it out?


-___-

I have seen the hubby do it once and it looked terribly tedious to me. Plus, the spray he used smelt so strong we had to open the window to let it out! It also sent him into a coughing fit. :(

So, imagine how glad I was when Oven Express came a-calling. I couldn't say yes quick enough! Thank you Miss Susan Smith and Mr Rabin if you guys are reading this! Kudos to the former for her patience and friendliness and the latter for his punctuality. One of my biggest pet peeves is servicemen who can't respect other people's time. The hubby and I once hired this guy to fix our air-conditioner and he was late for 2 freaking hours!

2 WHOLE FREAKING HOURS!

But I digress. Anyway, the cleaning process went by without a hitch.

"Well, that's not too bad," were the words uttered upon opening my oven.


I was feeling pretty chuffed, that is, until he started dismantling the oven. Uhhh... he has probably seen a lot worse being in the business but THIS,  is considered pretty bad to me.


And it began.


I was super happy that there was no noxious fumes whatsoever emanating from the cleaning products that they used. As expected from a company that claims to use non-toxic and fume-free products! It was so uneventful in terms of smell and noise pollution that I wouldn't even be able to tell, if not for my sight, in that moment that someone was actually cleaning my oven...

But clean he did, for when he was done...


Ready?




















































TA-DAH!!!




And just like that, yours truly has a spanking, brand new oven all over again! Think I might just stay away from baking for at least a couple of months to maintain this pristine state lol...

Impressed? Call 1800-325-773 for more information! Or visit their fuss-free website at http://www.ovenexpress.com.au/

FYI, they do BBQ grill, microwave and cooktop cleaning too! :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Hipster-ish small-ish cafes

Hi, has anyone missed this lazy blogger?

:P

Anyway, been checking out some hip cafes in Surry Hills (and resigning myself to the fact I'll never be able to keep up with all the latest openings!) and one of them is Gnome.

We have driven past Gnome many times on our way to Kawa further down the road and as expected, the cafe was quite small.


Their breakfast juice of kale, watermelon, apple and ginger was quite good. I like the foaminess at the top!


Hubby thought their coffee was quite good too.


But didn't really fancy his baked polenta with mushrooms, asparagus, poached egg and parmesan, with added bacon. While nothing was wrong with it, it didn't exactly blow his mind and plus, he found the serving size a tad too small!






I love mine though; the Bircher Muesli with roasted strawberries, seasonal fruit and yogurt. Sweet and striking a perfect balance between crunchy and mushy, this was one of the more memorable ones.



Gnome Espresso and Winebar on Urbanspoon

Second cafe I'm reviewing has almost the same layout as Gnome. Say hello to the painfully hip Single Origin Roasters!


The hubby really likes this one. He said it was one of the best breakfasts he had had in a while in Surry Hills.


I'm happy to report that I liked my kedgeree of quinoa, smoked ocean trout, egg, cauliflower, dukkah and goat's cheese too. I can't describe it well but I thought it tasted quite Indian-inspired. It was an explosion of flavors and textures in the mouth with the generous ocean trout and enough goat's cheese for every bite!


Oh yum!


P/S: Coffee at SOR was very, very good!

Single Origin Roasters on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

V-day at Sake Restaurant

You know you've joined "auntyhood" when you asked for a food processor and electric mixer as your Valentine gifts. Which was what I did. But I actually think of them as more of a gift for him... why? I've been baking all these delicious cakes for him, that's why! Nutella cheesecake anybody? :P

That's my current obsession, baking. But we'll save that topic for another day as I am here to blog about our Vday dinner at Sake (our favorite upscale Japanese restaurant in Sydney), which we booked and paid the deposit for a week ahead. I was excited for their degustation, while the hubby couldn't wait for the...

Junmai daiginjo sake.


I had a sip and thought that it was less bitter than all the alcohol drinks I have tasted, but it's still not my cup of tea (geddit?). Moving on to the food, we ordered a bowl of edamame and karaage chicken to whet our appetite with while waiting for the main courses.

Their edamame, as always, tasted perfect. None of that tough, teeth-breaking stuff. Every pod yielded to the teeth without much effort; truly a pleasure to eat!


Their karaage chicken was good enough to eat on its own without any of the accompanying condiments! They were crispy, meaty and with just the right amount of oiliness. It was positively more-ish, but I had only two pieces as I was afraid I wouldn't be able to finish the main courses.


Turns out, I really should have eaten more of the karaage chicken, as the rest didn't really fill me up. The course began (officially, anyway) with the smoked king fish sashimi with nashi pear salsa and sweet yuzu confit. If you dig the sweet tangy taste of yuzu, you'll love this!


"Why why why?" was the hubby's question when I told him that the next course was going to be Wagyu gyoza. He loved the gyoza, but told me that he wouldn't have been able to detect a difference if they were to use normal beef. I thought it was pretty good too. The most flavorsome, steaming hot beef morsels wrapped in tender, translucent skin... hmmm... I understand where the hubs is coming from but really, they could have used Kobe beef for all I care, hehe.


Here comes the hub's favorite of the day; the Pantagonian toothfish tempura! He said it was like the perfect fish and chips; right ratio of batter to meat, sufficient crunchiness and tender fish meat that just... flaked apart.


There was some ice-carving action going on next us. Unfortunately, we left before he managed to finish his masterpiece. :(


Run-of-the-mill miso soup.


Ditto the house salad.


Supremely excited for the final fish to be out, which was the grilled wagyu striploin and the wagyu croquet. Our verdict was mixed on this one. I liked the wagyu croquet and didn't really care for the striploin as I found them a little too chewy for my taste. The hubs, on the other hand, loved the striploin and wasn't too happy with the croquet.


That was quickly redeemed by the dessert, which I shall hereby declare the best dessert we have ever had.


And this is why. Gooey miso caramel that oozed out beautifully.. Perfect combination of hot and cold, and sweet and salty.


I was a hair's breadth away from licking the plate clean. Stopped only by the realization that the hubby actually finished his without offering me the last bite (he usually does!).

All in all, a great meal! Service was impeccable too. Le post-meal happy faces. :)


Saké Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon