Saturday, March 20, 2010

Birthday Party Food Porn

I arrived in Melbourne last week and was already invited to a birthday party that night.  The birthday party of my boyfriend's 3-year-old niece, Sarah.  There was plenty of child-friendly food - birthday cake, fish balls, crabmeat balls, skewered fruit kebabs, chicken pie, char siu pastries, pandan cake and jellies.

Turns out Sarah's mum, my boyfriend's sister-in-law made the birthday and pandan cakes!!  They tasted amazing and looked like shop-bought cakes!  Apparently, when she got married, she did not have a clue how to cook...but a few years later, she has become a domestic goddess!!!  In some ways, this has inspired me to try and become a domestic goddess too.  I want to be able to bake my children's birthday cakes one day!  I tried to make fail-proof chocolate chip cookies but it was an epic fail - link here => Domestic Goddess Project #1.  But I am determined not to give up...and one day, WHEN I succeed, I will post up my photos here because it will be food porn!!  LOL

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Three Course Food Porn #1

Sometimes, food blogs contain too many words when all you want to do is look at the photos.  So without further ado, I give you Three Course Food Porn #1.


Korean spicy eel 

Main Course

Bimbimbap (stone pot rice with meat, vegetables and egg)


Devil's Delight - chocolate pancakes covered in strawberries, cream and ice-cream topped with chocolate sauce

Food Porn Factor - please rate it and leave a comment

Friday, March 12, 2010

Instant Congee

From all my posts so far, it's easy to assume that I never eat at home.  But I do.

Eating at home is cheaper than eating out, but cooking for one is not easy, plus I am not exactly a great cook.

Easy solution : instant congee.

Congee is a Chinese savoury rice porridge commonly eaten for breakfast and when you're sick.

Yep, just add hot water and 3 minutes later, instant chicken congee!

This was my first time trying instant congee and to be honest, it wasn't bad.  Healthier than instant noodles, I hope.

Food Porn Factor : 4.5 out of 10 - tastier than it looks but that's probably because of the MSG

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yum Cha At East Ocean

I was so confused.  Being a Scottish Asian, I am used to the term "dim sum", but in Australia, this is known as "yum cha".  So I wiki'd it and found this :-

"Yum cha" is a dining experience which involves drinking Chinese tea and eating dim sum dishes.  "Yum cha" is Cantonese which literally means "drink tea". In the US and UK, the phrase "dim sum" is often used in place of yum cha; in Cantonese, "dim sum" refers to the wide range of small dishes, whereas yum cha, or "drinking tea", refers to the entire dining experience.

Confused much?

Yeah, who cares?  Let's eat!  Yum cha at East Ocean.

Trolleys go round the restaurant - just like Hong Kong!  Weird!  I am used to ticking the boxes on a leaflet!  The 3 of us just went crazy and ordered random dishes - har gao dumplings, siew mai, XO long beans, congee, pork ribs, etc.

However, my Chinese palate told me that the dim sum was not all that great.  Too much MSG and grease!!!  

But the company was excellent.  I was making my dining companions laugh with my stories about breastmilk!!  Breastmilk?  Yes, breastmilk!  Share with you another time.  Stay tuned.  LOL

East Ocean on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tempted By Cupcake Porn

I was shopping with two girl friends, Janet and Lydia, and we walked slowly past Cupcakes On Pitt.  The window display of supersized cupcakes was so enticing.

 I wonder if the supersized cupcakes are edible or plastic?

But for A$2.50 per cupcake, it was a tad expensive for two students and an unemployed bum (that's me, btw!)...but Miss JJ was extremely generous and treated us to a cupcake each.  Thank you!

 The selection of cupcakes is vast but eventually, I chose the Cookies & Cream Cupcake.  Why?  It's the Chinese blood in me screaming out - "Get your money's worth!"  Not only do I get cake, but I also get a cookie!  I am a diet's worst enemy!  LOL

The chocolate cake was excellent in taste and texture.  Freshly baked, soft, light and not too sweet.  The cream frosting complemented the cake perfectly.

Food Porn Factor : 10 out of 10 - expensive for a little cupcake but worth it!

Cupcakes on Pitt on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Crumpet Cafe At Coogee

What should you do on a Sunday afternoon after a long lie-in?  Go for brunch!
Where should you go to on a hot sunny Sunday afternoon?  Go to the beach!
What do you get when you combine the both together in Sydney?  Brunch at Coogee beach!

There are countless beaches in Sydney.  The choice is endless!

Bondi beach is a tourist hotspot.  This means that it is packed to the max and restaurant prices are hiked up and there's plenty of those tourist shops flogging those tacky tourist goodies!  I was once a tourist, but now consider myself as an Aussie wannabe!  Lol!  Traitor to my Scottish roots.  Sigh.

Whereas Coogee beach is just as beautiful and more peaceful...

Anyway, enough chit chat.  Here's some food porn - crumpets topped with scrambled eggs, spinach, sundried tomato and ricotta cheese on the side.

I asked for the ricotta cheese to be put on the side because I am a cheese-phobic!  Cheese smells and tastes like "cow"!  On rare occasions, I will eat pizza and regret it afterwards.  LOL!

Anyway, the scrambled egg was light and fluffy and buttery.  It was also not overly seasoned, because being the fussy eater, I dislike salt in my food.  I prefer pepper - white pepper, black pepper or any kind of spice.  Just not salt. 

"Pass me the pepper, pretty please..."

Food Porn Factor : 7 out of 10 - it was a bit boring halfway into my meal...

Crumpet Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sushi Porn At Sushi Rio

There are limited places to eat sushi in Glasgow.  In my opinion, the best sushi place in Glasgow is in a Korean restaurant called Kokuryo.

I was delighted when I landed in Sydney because there are loads of Asian restaurants everywhere - Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and even, Laotian.

Sushi Rio is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Sydney.  They do platters of sushi, ideal for sharing with a group of friends.

Pieces of fresh, succulent fish.  A wide assortment - salmon, tuna, oyster, unagi (eel), california rolls, nigri.

You can also order individual dishes a la carte or sit at the conveyor belt and pick whatever you fancy.

During lunch hours, all the plates of sushi at the conveyor belt is A$3 each (does not include sashimi).

I love eating sushi with a thick paste of 3/4 wasabi and 1/4 soy sauce.  How do you like yours?

Food Porn Factor : 9.5 out of 10 - platters provide good value for money

Sushi Rio on Urbanspoon

Warning : The toilet is miles away so do not go mid-feast because when you return, there will be no sushi left!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Midnight Snack At Harry's Cafe De Wheels

The only time I eat hot dogs are at BBQ's and to my knowledge, the only place in Glasgow which sells hot dogs is Costco, an American megastore - and even when I went there for food, I never ordered a hot dog, because they served amazing baked potatoes.

Anyway, the friends I met in Sydney were huge foodies too, but only Mr Pistol was a Sydney-sider.  This meant that I trusted him most about which places to visit and more importantly, which places to dine at.

High on his recommended list was hot dogs at Harry's Cafe De Wheels.

They also sell pies.

Being a fan of pies, I had the house special Harry's "Tiger" - which incidentally is named after the founder Harry 'Tiger' Edwards - (I was thinking of Tiger Woods LOL) - chunky lean beef pie served with mushy peas, mash and gravy.  And guess what?  I don't have a photo of it.  Sorry.  But it was lovely and meaty with a thick gravy, which was slighty salty.  The pastry case was a letdown though.

Anyway, here's a photo of me holding onto a classic hot dog.  I say "holding onto" because I was just posing with the hot dog which went into Mr Pistol's belly.

I did try the classic hot dog on another occasion.  Sadly, it did not live up to my expectations.  I prefer hotdog sausages burnt at the BBQ and not boiled.

I also shared a chilli dog with my sister who paid me a visit in Oz.  I detest cheese and the cheesy sauce in the chilli dog nearly killed me!  LOL!

Food Porn Factor : 6.5 out of 10 - Give me Greggs sausage rolls any day! 

Harry's Cafe de Wheels on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lowenbrau Keller - Achtung Baby!

Achtung Baby!  This was the title of a U2 album but did you know what it means?  It means, "Attention Baby!" in good old German.

I studied German in school and I was told I had a natural talent for it.  Now, years later, I remember jack!  LOL!

I have yet to visit Germany, but I had a taste of German food in Sydney at The Lowenbrau Keller.  The menu offers a wide range of meals - from schnitzels to wurst to pork belly - and plenty of beer!!

I have been there twice already and tried the following dishes :-

Schweinschaxn - oven roasted pork knuckle with sauerkraut and mashed potato
Unfortunately, it looks better than it tasted.  Everyone who tried it complained about the dryness of the meat.  It was just too overcooked with no retention of the moisture resulting in hard, dry meat.  Tastewise, I remember someone complaining that it was too salty.  The mashed potato was good though with a smooth texture and nice buttery taste.  As for the sauerkraut, let's just say that it is an acquired taste.

Knuspriger Schweinebauch - crackling roast pork belly with Lowenbrau Bier sauce, sauteed potatoes and red cabbage
The pork belly crackling was quite tasty, but it was such a meagre portion for the price you pay ~A$35.  I am also a carb-lover, so I did not think there was enough potatoes to balance out the acidic taste from the red cabbage.

And my two guy friends - Mr Pistol and Mr Egg - ordered the Schlachtplatte - sausages, chicken schnitzel, pork belly served with mash potato and sauerkraut to share.  Two big lads like them even struggled to finish that meat platter.  Good choice for anyone on the Atkin's Diet.

Personally, I like to have some banter with my friends while dining but this was impossible due to the sheer racket caused by the German band consisting of 4-5 oldies dressed in some German folks uniform.

And when they did stop for a break (thank GOD!), they played games - e.g. drinking beer competition and singing and dancing competition - which kept the crowd amused.

I am leaving Sydney next week to move to Melbourne where my boyfriend stays.  I am trying to eat at all the nice eateries before I leave and Lowenbrau is not one of them, I'm afraid.  Nevertheless, it's a place to take your friends if they are visiting you from overseas, i.e. tourist attraction. 

(Tip for any tourists : there's always some coupon for free beer at this place in those tourist booklets when you buy a meal)

Food Porn Factor : 6.5 out of 10 - my Mum makes better roast pork belly crackling!

Lowenbrau Keller on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Salty Encounter With Ryo's Noodles

My Sydneysider friend Mr Pistol ranted and raved about this amazing ramen place called Ryo's Noodles.

We went on a weeknight but it was packed to the max and we had to wait outside for 20 minutes till we managed to get a table for 5.

Two of my friends - Mr Egg and Miss JJ - and I ordered the ramen noodles in chilli pork stock soup

My other two friends - Mr Pistol and Miss Tex - ordered the ramen noodles in pork stock soup

Was it worth it to go all the way to Crow's Nest and then wait 20 minutes for a table? NO!

The ramen itself was good with a nicy springy and chewy texture, but the soup base was bad. The soup was thick with chilli oil and extremely salty. My lips were covered in this gooey oily mess when I was eating it and I spent the rest of the night drinking water to try and quench my thirst after the salty encounter.

We also ordered gyoza dumplings to share. They taste better than they look!

Food Porn Factor : 6 out of 10 - not happy with the heart attack-inducing salt and oil combo!

125 Falcon Street
North Sydney
NSW 2065
(02)9955 0225

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sydney Fish Market - Pescetarians FTW!

I was on a pescetarian diet for 1.5 years of my life. What's that you ask? Well, a pescetarian diet consists of all kinds of seafood and fruit and vegetables, but no meat nor poultry.

Now I am considering a return to this pescetarian diet because of Sydney Fish Market. This place is packed full of fresh seafood - salmon, oysters, mussels, lobsters, you name it, they got it!

My companion and I shared tuna and salmon sashimi which was fresh and more-ish, i.e. the more you eat, the more you want!

I ordered this fisherman's basket which consisted of battered seafood stick, battered fish bites, calamari rings, fried squid on a bed of fries.

One word : SOGGY! I was bitterly disappointed.

But with so many amazing and appetising seafood to offer in the many stalls, I was already planning my next visit to the Fish Market - another story which I will share with you on a later date.

Food Porn Factor : 7 out of 10 - sashimi yes, soggy no!

Sydney Fish Market
Pyrmont Bridge Road
NSW 2009
(02)9004 1100

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