Monday, 30 January 2012

yummy lane @ rowe st., eastwood

There was a time when this restaurant didn't have a front or back door. It was just a resturant in an alleyway and no matter how adventurous I was, I couldn't get a soul to go with me to try it out. Actually I had no idea where the food was coming out from, you could only see a counter at the front, tables and chairs down the alleyway and staff that would triapse up and down the corridor to take your order and at night, everything would get packed up and the restaurant would cease to exist. It's probably been a good 6 months and now Yummy Lane has both a front and back door and decor to suggest that it's more of a permanent fix, or one would think at least.

Quite an extensive menu on offer but in the end, just simple, homestyle Chinese food and I was actually quite impressed with how it all tasted. Here's the braised beancurd with mushroom and veg. A staple dish to order when counterbalancing the meat heavy dishes you would usually order when you eat Chinese food.

You can see how narrow the restaurant is in this photo. The boy is getting a little sick of me taking photos of him :(

HK Style Iced Lemon Tea - not too sweet but reminds me I really need to get my hands on a good recipe; would love to learn how to make it at home.

Beef & Vermicelli with Sacha Sauce. Not too heavy nor gluggy with the Sacha sauce and the vermicelli noodles is enough to fill you up without needing to have it with rice.

Handmade noodle with homemade sauce (otherwise known as Jia Jiang Mien). We were probably a little too adventurous and ordered a bit too much food. Ended up having enough takeaway to fill two plastic boxes.

With a 10% discount on the meal, I was suitably impressed with how it all turned out. Very quick service, decent portion sizes and surprisingly Chinese food that didn't leave me too thirsty after the meal. I'd say two dishes with a little rice is enough to feed two, order 3 dishes and you should have enough takeaway to last you both for lunch the next day. They're reasonably tech savvy with our waiter taking the order on his iPhone and they seem reasonably busy without being frantic so good to know you can turn up and just get a table. Though really, gone are the days when I would wait outside for ages to get a table, I'd much rather be seated and eating!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

hershey's kisses peanut butter blossoms

It was a trip to Costco last week that I remembered that I had this recipe to post. There's actually no real correlation between Costco to the recipe except for the fact that Costco sells these massive bags of Hershey's Kisses (which features in the recipe) and which I'm tempted to buy everytime I see one. If its not the Hershey's Kisses that I'm seeing at Costco, its those Peanut Butter Cups; even more tasty and probably not so good for you if you eat too many if one go.

This recipe comes from the back of my packet of Christmas themed Hershey's Kisses (Hershey's in green, red and silver foil wrapping - yes I am a sucker for packaging). Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Remove wrappers from 48 Hershey's Kisses chocolates. Beat 125g melted shortening and 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter in a large bowl. Add 1/3 cup caster sugar and 1/3 cup light brown sugar. Add 1 egg, 2tbsp milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Stir in 1 1/2 cups plain flour, 1 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix to combine.

Shape the dough into 2cm balls. Roll in caster sugar.

Press a chocolate into the centre of each cookie. 

Bake for 8 - 10 minutes.

Remove cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Come to think of it, these cookies are almost peanut butter cups in cookie format! The original recipe actually asks you to press the chocolates in after the cookies have baked and the cookie is still soft but the dyslexic side of me read it as press them in before you bake. Well I can't tell you if the original recipe works but my way worked just fine - the chocolates actually don't melt in the oven but keep their shape. I find peanut butter loves sticking to the roof of my mouth and eating these was no exception. Ended up being a great Christmas treat to share with the extended family.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

cute blog award

Thanks to the lovely Mashi for awarding me with the Cute Blog Award. You've become a close friend and confidante and well, it all started with this blog!

What is your go to make up product?

What was your favourite trend of 2011?
Macarons! Please let there be more Macarons in 2012.

What is your favourite dessert?
Any form of tarte tartin.

Favourite colour?

What is your middle name?

What was the last song you listened to?
Lucky - Colbie Callait

Cats or dogs?

Tell us something about yourself that you haven't told us on your blog.
I've lost count of the number of cookbooks I have (clearly I have too many!)

Here are the rules:
  1. Link back to the person who awarded you
  2. Answer award questions
  3. Tell us something about yourself you haven't told us in your blog yet
  4. Award as many blogs as you think are worthy of this award
  5. Make sure you let those you award that they have received the Cute Blog Award
I'm awarding the following blogs:
Sweets by Vicky
Spoon, Forks & Chopsticks
Foodie Pop 
Char post 
Tea Thymes 

Thanks for always popping by my blog and leaving such lovely messages. I love your blogs (even if I'm a little quiet when it comes to leaving messages in return).

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

mt. fuji sushi @ falcon st., crows nest

So life has been treating me well, albeit keeping me a little busy. I've also started the year with a resolution to cook more and eat out less and so far, I can't say that I've had much progress but I'm trying. I mean well though which I think counts for something. If anything, have cut back on the elaborate meals and finding some cheaper local haunts which are well worth their weight in gold.

Google had Mount Fuji Sushi in Crows Nest with a 4 out of 5 star rating; the boy and I figured we couldn't go wrong if the eating population of Sydney had given it such a good rating. Snapped up one of the tables in the back (there's only half a dozen or so of them) and ordered a selection of items across the menu.

Agedashi tofu arrived promptly at the table - tasty and a good sized serving to whet the appetite.

Fried dumplings - crispy on the outer and very tasty on the inner.

Large Sushi Plate. The sushi pieces are a tad small so treat this one more as an entree rather than main.

Chicken Terayaki - dainty trips of chicken with a good sized portion of rice accompanying. Some places really pile on the rice and you end up getting full on just the rice alone.

The boy is always full of expression and makes me laugh. 

Pork Tonkatsu with the restaurant's special sauce - very crispy and succulent.

It seemed like a lot when we were ordering but being a late dinner for us this particular Friday night, we demolished all the dishes quite comfortably. The place appears quite popular with people popping in and out to dine in and takeaway. They only have 3 staff running the entire restaurant and I'm suitably impressed by how efficient and on the ball they are. Extremely friendly, prompt service and great tasting food. Prices are ever so reasonable also!

Monday, 16 January 2012

hungry duck @ queen st., berry

With the craziness that is life, I almost forgot about this blog of mine. It's been there by my side for the last 5 years but there's days when I have the memory of a fish and keep eating and 'floating' around and well, thanks mum for reminding me today that it was time to update my blog. 

Continuing where I left off, Berry was really a godsend of a holiday over the Christmas & New Year break. So very relaxing, just away from everything, friendly people in town, delicious food and a few nifty little purchases here and there. The boy did do a bit of research prior and booked us a dinner at the Hungry Duck in advance and well if perchance you are visiting Berry, I would recommend that you get yourself a booking too!

Crumbed quail eggs - crunchy tasty morsels.

The boy was plagued with a bit of a stomache bug but insomuch that he still managed to eat all the food that came to the table.

Raw Wagyu Beef & Avocado, topped with roe.

Duck Spring Rolls with honey sesame sauce and chili ketchup. A few tables around us all ordered this dish and I have to say, it's extremely tasty but watch that squirt of hot oil as you bite into it; best to nibble at it slowly.

Steamed kingfish with vinegared chili broth and lemongrass. The broth is somewhat drowned in chilli oil and looks like it could be hot but it really isn't and drinking the broth actually doesn't make you that thirsty.

The most interesting and most unusual dish of the night would have to be this one - Alpaca tempura. We learnt through our waiter that night that chef David Campbell has been working in conjunction with the local Alpaca farm to get this meat on the table - the meat has a really subtle flavour with the texture in between pork and chicken; very tender and well worth a try.

Mushroom & Asparagus Stir Fry - tad towards the salty side.

Chilli Chocolate Tart.

Rhubarb Tarte Tartin.

Compared to the boy, I was back to good eating form after having the same stomach bug the few days before. Happily digging away into my tarte tartin which I think is such a tasty (and fatty) French dessert.

We had lovely service that night and all the dishes we had were ones that I would order again. Given I were to go again, I'd probably stick to ordering a la carte. The table next to us ordered the banquet (there is a 5 course and a 9 course option) and whilst the 9 course looked considerably filling, I think ordering a la carte is probably better value and you get to choose all the dishes you actually want to try. And in the end it is Asian food and something about bits and pieces of food doesn't come across to me as the correct way to eat Asian food - but that's probably just me being pedantic and being Asian.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

berry woodfired sourdough bakery @ prince alfred st., berry

Is it odd to sit there with a loaf of fresh bread and keep eating and eating it until it's gone? And what about thinking about all the condiments that you can have with fresh bread whilst you're eating it - a generous slap of fresh butter, a generous dip of olive oil, freshly made jams, a lathering of peanut butter or even a slight smear of vegemite and butter is occasionally something that the heart desires. I really do love eating bread.

Woodfired sourdough served with olive oil and salt at the Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakey.

It's a busy little place here, waited about 15 minutes to be seated at a table.

A somewhat lighter lunch than usual - a duck leg salad.

A slightly more filling Poached Chicken Salad.

Oh - a third course of dessert at lunch is often something I think about too. Who says you can only have dessert after dinner? 

A must visit in Berry!

After the Berry Tea Shop, this is my second favourite place in Berry. It's a great place to rest your legs for the afternoon in the comfort of delicious food. You can also get baked goods on the go but note they sell out earlier so get in there quick if you can!

Monday, 2 January 2012

the berry tea shop @ albert st., berry

Hello there readers and Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a good Christmas, ate lots, and spent plenty of time with family and friends. I managed to do all that and picked up a slight stomach bug on the way, then passed it on to the boy but thankfully both he and I have entered the new year both well and kicking. 

So much seems to have happened over the last month; a fair few friends visiting from overseas, dinner outings and catchups, a failed attempt at macarons (very sad!), friends back from holidays, the beach (finally the weather warmed up!) organising and tidying, I don't know about you, I actually feel a bit exhausted. Thankfully, the boy and I managed to squeeze in a short trip to Berry for a few days prior to the new year and had a spout of R&R, sampled plenty of local produce and watched way too many DVDs.

Let me introduce you to The Berry Tea Shop; the one shop were I walked in, sat down for a cup of tea and circled around and around the shop looking at things and nearly pulled out my credit card and bought up the whole shop. I didn't actually but I was tempted.

Scones served with jam and cream, best eaten with a cup of tea. The boy sampled the Darjeeling First Flush and I went for a pot of Madame Earl Grey. Both very lovely!

The boy thinks I put way too much cream on my scones. I don't think I put enough. There's still plenty of cream in that little dish. Should've just put it all on.

My favourite wall in the shop!

Spoke briefly to the owner at the counter (who's from the UK originally) and what a lovely shop with a lovely owner who is madly in love with his shop too! I didn't end up buying any tea (as I have a crazy amount at home which I need to really get through) but couldn't help picking up a Robert Gordon Cup & Saucer set in a floral print, a set of lace coasters and a most adorable teapot tea infuser.

I was hoping to duck back in for another cup of tea on the trip but didn't get round to it. If by chance you happen to go before I head back, say hello to the owner for me and have a cup of tea on my behalf. Ooh and do let me know what things you buy there - I would like to know!