Saturday, 24 January 2015

Frappe Cafe Bar, Concord



Omelettes! Frappes! Poached eggs! There's only one meal I can be talking about.. And it doesn't begin with a D or an L. It's breakfast!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Jamie's Italian, Sydney CBD

Sometimes, when we go to a restaurant that doesn't take bookings, as we approach the restaurant I will quicken my pace from a leisurely walk to a hurried trot in an attempt to reach the end of the queue before anyone else walking in front of me to said restaurant does. It is as if by decreasing the distance between me and the queue, through increasing travel speed, my goal of getting into the restaurant earlier can be fulfilled. Of course, this is not always the case; sometimes the party of two that arrive 10 minutes later will receive a table earlier than we do. Despite giving me the satisfaction of reaching a restaurant before the ambling diners behind me, there is no sure way to make the wait shorter when it comes to restaurants which are so popular that waiting has become part of the dining experience. Such is the case at restaurants such as the xiao long bao institution, Din Tai Fung, and the epynomous Gelato Messina.

Jamie's Italian on Pitt Street in Sydney's CBD has been open for 3 years already, but I hadn't visited it until just recently. What is an unassuming facade consisting of a double-story glass window, fronted by a large, rustic 'J' signpost, can be easy to miss is you're hurriedly walking down a busy city street. Inside it's a whole different vibe, with the noisy chatter and split-level interior providing plenty to feast your eyes on. Jamie's takes bookings for parties of any number, so I could rest my laurels in knowing that we wouldn't have to worry about securing a table during the busy lunch hour.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Spiced Pumpkin Pie Recipe

We don't tend to celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia as much as it's celebrated in America. Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated widely in the United States, on which thanks is given for the harvest season or simply to celebrate and be thankful for the preceding year. Traditionally held on the fourth Thursday of November, it is a family affair that evokes the aromas of roast turkey, cranberries, cornbread, baked root vegetables and good ol' pecan pie. 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Ippudo at Central Park, Chippendale

I'd like to confess that I'm no Ramen connoisseur. I'm not one to religiously scope out Ramen eateries and rave about their broth intensity or collagen factor. My palette is not accustomed to the pork-rich flavour of Tonkostsu, nor the full, complexity of Miso Ramen. But, nevertheless, I do love noodles of any sort and will willingly pursue any noodle restaurant to seek out some squiggly goodness. And when a Japanese restaurant by the name of Ippudo extends its branch out to the reasonably new Central Park Complex, you'll bet I'll be there in a heartbeat.

Westfield's Ippudo restaurant in its high-class food court is renowned for it's authentic, full-bodied Ramen. The restaurant in Central Park is located in the ground level Dining District, across the path from Ribs and Burgers, a chic cafe called Autolyse, and next door to the dessert-lover's paradise, Max Brenner. The interior space is not as big as the Westfield branch, but large enough for a comfy space that doesn't feel like you're one in a hundred hungry noodle-slurpers. And, unlike the Westfield flagship, there's little wait (if any at all), at least in the early months since its opening in early October.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Abhi's Indian Restaurant, North Strathfield

It's an old wives tale that spicy food is good for sickness - naturally 'hot' foods like horseradish, wasabi and chilli are good remedies for when you're feeling a bit off or fluey. Likewise, it's also well known (especially in warm, humid places like Malaysia) that eating spicy food can help cool you down on hot days. Eating food like curries when you're sweltering in 30 degree plus heat makes you sweat, which the body's cooling mechanism. Funny, isn't it?

Most of the time when we're sweltering and hot, we shy back into air-conditioned comfort or duck our head in the freezer for an ice cream. Indian food is one of those cuisines that utilises spice not just to counteract the warm weather, but to add layers of complexity to each and every dish. Nothing is without a little bit of spice, and it's not necessarily all hot spice either.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Cornerstone Cafe Bar, Crows Nest

Some foods are just not very graceful to be seen eating in public. A piece of cake, yes. A bowl of salad, sure. A coffee, or cup of tea, of course. But something on a stick like, say, a kebab, or juicy like watermelon...not so much. Spaghetti, hmm maybe. Pizza? Perhaps. But a burger? Uh uh. Not a chance. So it's lucky that most of the time I eat burgers I'm with my family, people I can happily eat anything in the company of. But on the occasions I do venture out with friends, sometimes it's not so smooth sailing. But if you can't eat naturally in front of your friends, then what are friends for, right? 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Stuffed Capsicums Recipe

What do you do when you have an abundance of capsicums in the fridge? Stuff them, of course!

Seasonal produce can lead to the creation of many an inventive meal. I wish I was the kind of cook who could conjure up a meal, with complementing textures and a balance of flavours, from whatever I have in my fridge. But I'm not. Instead, I'm happy to share with you that I have a confidant in Google and my reliable cookbooks.

Cookbook recipes are the inspiration for my cooking, as well as a form of entertainment. For me, reading a cookbook is like reading a magazine, except that one will be greeted with the extra bonus of being able to glimpse and drool at a collection of beautiful food photos along every page. The way I read a cookbook is the same way I read a magazine - front to back, reading every word on every page, starting with the ingredients and ending with the final step of the method. I'm methodical like that.