Friday, 20 March 2015

Black Sesame Tong Yuan

Imagine if someone told you that all the best features of Asian sweets existed in a single dessert. The sticky, chewy texture of mochi, the roasted aroma of black sesame, ginger's signature hot zing, and the warm fulfilment of a sweet dessert soup, melded together to create what encompasses the pinnacle of everything that I love about Asian cuisine. 

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Taste of Shanghai, Ashfield

There's something so enjoyable about eating dumplings. Here are some of the reasons I think why.
  1. Dumplings are small, so you can eat a lot of them.
  2. They have a very high filling to wrapper ratio, so when you eat a lot they don't feel as heavy as something wrapped in thicker bread or rice.
  3. Dumplings come in so many different varieties and flavours that it's quite impossible to find a variety that you don't like. 
  4. They're cute!
  5. You can eat them easily without embarrassing yourself or causing a mess (I'm looking at you, tacos)
...And the list goes on.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Frappe Cafe Bar, Concord

Omelettes! Frappes! Poached eggs! Labneh! Ha, that last one surprised you, didn't it? There's only one meal I can be talking about.. And it doesn't begin with a D or an L. It's breakfast!

What excites me so much about breakfast is not that my stomach hasn't seen food in 10+ hours (although that may be a major factor...), but the prospect of breakfast being a meal that gives me something to look forward to when I get up and give me energy for the rest of the day. I find it quite inconceivable that one can get up in the morning and not even consider having breakfast. As the cliche goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

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.