Thursday, 30 October 2008

the great bagel company @ mac. centre (again)

So...a funny moment...was about to start typing this entry, waited for photos to upload and dang! what on earth had I eaten that day?! I remember J had the Chicken Burger bagel (you can easily see that) but what was on mine? Proceeded to google and see if their was a menu online that would help and funnily enough, the first two sites that came up were Suze's blog (no luck there) followed by my own blog...great.

J's Chicken Burger Bagel (one of their specials not on the main menu board).
The unidentified but 'eaten by me' bagel. J reckons it was the Roast Beef bagel and I'm starting to think that it might be it. Whatever it was, it tasted great! I remember at least that. I had another one of their Blueberry Smoothies - seriously addictive although this is one that leaves bits in your teeth which can be a little annoying.
Well to find my own blog come up when I google 'The Great Bagel Company' has been interesting. Occasionally I've had friends or friends of friends tell me that they've stumbled across my blog when they've been looking for a place to eat - which I think is great and is always a great conversation starter. Yet for me to stumble across my own blog in the interest of research, I actually start to worry. Not that I've been bad mouthing any restaurants (cause usually I can never be bothered blogging about those 'bad' restaurants) but the fact that some person out there will actually read my blog and go visit a! That to me is very interesting!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

wagaya @ harbour st., haymarket

Jo invited a bunch of us to celebrate her b'day at Wagaya this year - I'd read about the place on a couple of other blogs and knew about the touch screen ordering system. To actually be there was a completely different thing, especially with a group of 20+ of us.

My friend A and I were the first to arrive. We nervously sat down at the end of the table that stretched far far away.
The touchscreen menu. A&I had been on time and it looked like everyone else (b'day girl included) were running late. We decided to 'touch' through the menu and ended up getting drinks. Strangely enough, you do get a little hesitant pressing the buttons when they ask you to confirm the order.
Our Iced Green Tea Lattes. They were a little on the small side (the glasses aren't very big). These were quickly gobbled up as the others started to arrive.With the table consisting of a quite a mixed group of Jo's friends, people decided to order amongst themselves, in pairs and others even just ordered their own meal. A&I decided to order together and now that I look back at photos, we managed to eat quite a bit! Below is the Seared Salmon Roll + Soft Shell Crab Agedashi Tofu.
The Wagaya Salad with Renkon Chips at the back, Cooked Squid with a Peanut Sauce and hmm...I can't remember if that was another roll we ate?
The b'day girl sitting across from us. Happy Birthday Jo! Hope you enjoyed the day!
Very fortunately, the food we ordered came very quickly. For others, it was a slightly different story. One table, 2 touchscreens, it wasn't before long that food came to the table, it got yelled out for someone to claim and someone ended up eating someone else's meal. Poor person ended up sitting there for awhile and ended up having to order again. Added to that was that people looked at the screen and chose things based on what they looked like and you could see the frustration when the waiter/waitress had the meal in their hand and no one claimed to have ordered it. So as convenient as the screens are, they're probably not the best for big tables where you have lots of people ordering lots of things.

Tantan Noodles - A&I couldn't help ordering more food :D
And who can forget dessert?! A&I shared the mixed dessert plate with Sesame icecream, Green Tea Pannacotta (which unfortunately tasted too much of gelatine) and the Strawberry & Red Bean Daifuku. See all the green tea ice creams people ordered at the back.
I'll sheepishly admit that out of everyone on our side of the table, A&I probably had to pay the most for all the food we ordered. It wasn't that expensive though - worked out to be about $3o each for the two of us. To be honest, I'd say the prices are actually very reasonable and the serving sizes are decent. Probably recommend going in a smaller group though cause it can get a little hectic with too many people. Love the decor and service is friendly. The place attracts quite a young crowd so expect a noisy evening out if you're choosing to have dinner here.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

raavi's cumin @ burlington st., crows nest

We asked K to find us a place for dinner and I probably shouldn't have been as surprised as I was to find that he'd picked an Indian restaurant. He always picks an Indian restaurant and I suppose the reason I'd been surprised, he hadn't picked the one that we'd been going to for the last couple of times but one that was also in the same suburb (and one that I'd actually been reading about in the sunday life magazine the week before). The place I'm talking about is Raavi's Cumin in Crows Nest.

Perusing the menu, you'll read that Cumin's chef is one of India's Top 20 chef's. K had been eagerly trying to tell us this (in spite of our groanings that he'd picked yet another Indian restaurant). Well K, I have to admit, you've consistently picked some good places to eat (despite them all being Indian!).

Murg Tikka - boneless pieces of chicken steeped in a yoghurt marinade of spices and grilled in the tandoor.
Lahoree Chap - lamb cutlets studded with freshly ground peppercorns and chargrilled. This one is a must order - so tasty!
Lasooni Jinga - prawns steeped in a marinade of aromatic spices and hand tossed with garlic. This one has a bite!
Now I have to admit - I really can't remember what curries we had here (as K&M were in charge of choosing them, J&I had chosen the entrees). I do remember though that the rice was cumin flavoured (Jeera Pulav) and it was as the menu had indicated, a great alternative to plain rice.
As usual, we each ordered a Mango Lassi (served in a tall milkshake glass).
And not to forget the naan bread - definitely recommend the Cheese Naan; so filling yet so tasty!
Maachi Rarra - pieces of fish fillet smothered in spices and cooked in a tomato based sauce. To be honest, I didn't think it tasted that great (more or less a battered fish smothered in curry) or maybe it's just that I always associate Indian curries with meats and vegies, rarely seafood.
What's dinner without dessert?! A mango kulfi please!

And yes we were full - it was a lot of food and it was a struggle with the last couple of bites. Love the fact that the place has a modern edge to it, service is friendly and attentive, and the great thing is that the tables are spacious (all the better for when you've ordered a lot of food) and nicely spaced apart so that you have a bit of privacy from the tables next to you. K was saying how there was an offer on eatability to get a free bottle of wine if you spent more than so and so amount here. We didn't end up asking (largely cause we didn't feel like wine) but definitely check it out!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

sugar magic: lesson 24

I finished another term of 'Sugar Magic' (making it my third term) and as of today, being the very last minute person that I am, enrolled in the last term for this year which starts this week. Phew! The class hadn't fill up! This time last year (when I'd first started thinking about doing this course), I'd been a little bit too late and unfortunately, trying to enrol a couple of days before the term started hadn't been such a good idea. Well a year later, I can't say a whole lot about me has changed; maybe just a little lucky but well, let's say that Sugar Magic has kept me going back.

My third term was spent making Calla Lilies, Jonquils, Devil's Claw, Correa (unassembled) & one rather disastrous Hibiscus. The Hibiscus (top right) belongs to a fellow classmate who kindly offered it to me cause mine kept falling apart.
The Calla Lilies & the Devil's Claw were my favourite. The devil's claw consists of at least 20 individual flowers which took me a solid couple of hours to make individually, colour and then assemble. I still think it's the prettiest flower of them all despite all the hard work that went into making it.

This term actually went rather quickly - almost so that there actually wasn't enough time to finish all the bits and pieces in class. toolbox seems to have grown a little and yes, I bought another box of pastels. The box of 24 just didn't seem to have enough colours! Anyway, back again for another term and woah, it's been an entire year - can't believe how quickly time has flown!

Monday, 13 October 2008

happy birthday em!

A month or so long lapse in blogging has left me with a serious backlog of posts! I don't know where my time goes and my intention is not to abandon this blog - it's just I can't seem to find the time. Thanks for the reminder K that I need to get back to the blogging; back at it now and hopefully will be able to keep it up. Glad to hear that I have a loyal reader such as yourself who keeps up with my food musings and rambles!

Anyway, was at Kobe Jones for Em's 30th. It was actually a surpise b'day that another girl from work had organised - about half a dozen or so people were there from work and the whole table was about 20 or so including Em's friends, family as well as partners.

Clare, Em & Me (against the pretty wall)
Em & one of her brothers. Love the pose!
Clare & Me.
For dinner, we had the Banquet Menu which had Edamame, the No. 1 Special, Sashimi Salad, Scallop Carpaccio, Chicken Karage, Beef Tataki, Crunchy Roll, Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Miso Soup & the Ama Ozen (the mixed dessert platter). Plenty of food that was matched to an equivalent amount of alcohol :P Here's a photo of the Ama Ozen which I thought was pretty cool (must be new I think) but basically there was a blue flame on the Green Tea Creme Brulee when it came to the table - making the sugar topping on the creme brulee nice and crunchy as it should be.

As photographed by J.
Happy B'day Em!
Em - can't wait till you come back from maternity leave. Miss you! Hope you had a fantastic b'day!

Sunday, 12 October 2008

ryo's noodles @ falcon st., north sydney

The day J&I trekked out to North Sydney for Ramen, my mood had been just as terrible as the weather. It was raining heavily, I was annoyed at J for some stupid reason or other (I forget just as quickly as it takes me to get annoyed) and well, there was a queue outside the door which didn't seem to move at all and it didn't help that J&I were stuck in the queue arguing about whatever it was we were arguing. *Sigh* - Sorry J.

It was definitely much better as we crept up in the queue and were finally seated down at a share table and my attention was then focused on deciding what to have on the menu. I'd say if you head to Ryo's, most likely you'll go for the Ramen. They do have rices and other items on the menu but I think for the two times I've been, I'd say go for the Ramen!

J's Spicy Ramen.
My ramen - all I can remember is that it was a Pork Soup base.
A pork rice ball. Apparently they only make a limited number of these each day (from memory it was 20). They're surprisingly tasty and full of flavour (contrary to what I originally thought, it's not just a chunk of rice with some filling inside!)
Gyoza. They're a tad on the small side but undeniably tasty! Even better when J gives me 3 because he knows I like them :P
Meals are very reasonably priced and service is generally very quick. It's a little annoying having to wait outside in the queue (I think a friend said they don't take bookings). There's street parking nearby but admittedly, the location is a little out of the way from everything else. Although, The Essential Ingredient is not far off and I do have a habit of dragging J there whenever we are 'within' the area - as I did on this occasion! :D