Posts Tagged ‘pictures of food’

Relatively new to lower north shore area, this has fast become one of my personal favourites and probably one of the area’s best kept secrets.

It houses a hot pot of all your asian favourites… but served tapas. I’m talking Jap, Malay, Filo and Chinese food all served in the one convenient location.

SpaAsian tapas? How glorious! And if you come between Mon-Wed, you can even get their $10 tapas.

Sounds too good to be true but the owner (Alan) has made great strides to maintain the integrity of the combination of all these flavours. Housing a Filipino chef, a Malaysian chef, Alan has personally taken care of the rest by recreating Chinese home made favourites and studying Japanese cookery.

spice crusted tofu

We begin with the spice crusted tofu and it is a wonderful play on your humble agedashi tofu. In fact, I think it is much better.

The tofu is squared off into bite sized pieces providing more surface area for a nice and crisp exterior. The edges of the tofu are super crusty and equally find themselves with a healthy dosage of soy.

Sprinkled on the top are the bonito flakes which to my surprise, are literally dancing along my tofu in beautiful symmetry.

chicken san choi bao

The san choi bao is pretty mind blowing. Delivering generously on flavour and texture. It rightfully upholds all the flavours and is quite incredible. This is one dish that should not to be missed.

roast pork belly pancake 1

roast pork belly pancake 2

The roast pork belly pancake plays on a Chinese favourite. Instead of peking duck, here we have roast pork belly, all pre-prepared with all the trimmings and it is absolutely incredible.

The pork is slippery, silky and packed full of flavour. It doesn’t have the crunch factor of the skin but the flavour wholeheartedly offsets the need for texture. But then again, crackling is not something I would ever say no to!

pork and prawn wontons

I am told by the owner that the pork and prawn wontons were just hand made and they usually are.
Alan, grew up with his grandma making these family favourite for him as a child and lucky for us, he too has decided to pass on this family gem.

The translucent skin is neatly tucked around to expose the fleshy prawns and meaty pork filling. These dumplings are really quite remarkable that there really are no words.

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Thanks to heneedsfood.com I find myself at one of the latest additions to the Alexandria’s industrial site, Vicinity Dining. It’s 6 weeks in its inception and already it is getting a pretty good wrap.

Considered a welcomed change from the Grounds of Alexandria. It’s slick, it’s open and oh so cozy. It’s a one size fits all business model, engineered to suit all needs. From having a nice little drop – to bar, cafe and restaurant dining. It’s organic and serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s so good… I overhear, “I absolutely live for their bacon and egg rolls!!”

sticky beef ribs

The sticky beef ribs were very difficult to forego. The ribs was sticky, spicy, saucy and simply a melt in your mouth joy. The apple gave it a beautiful texture and freshness while the sam jang mayo made it pure bliss.

The ribs were so tender that there was a moment where I picked up the bones so I could suck the meat off. Only to find that the meat slid itself straight off the bone!

The home made chicken liver parfait was absolutely delicious and served in its very own jar. The texture was silky, smooth and the flavour nice and buttery. At $14 it was unbelievable value and sizeable in its proportions to lay it on thick.

chicken liver parfait

lamb shoulder

triple cooked chips

Coerced by the wait staff with their eyes rolling into the back of their heads ‘to get the lamb shoulder’, it was a moment we would not live to regret.

The beautiful specimen was slowly cooked at 70 degrees for 12 hours and covered with a delicious pesto and yoghurt tahini sauce. The meat was beautifully flavoured and plentiful that we even had to get takeaway containers to take out the rest.

The triple cooked chips was unfortunately the weakest link. It is cooked once at 70 degrees, again at 180 degrees and finally once more at service. Given the process, it wasn’t as crispy as expected. It just tasted like regular chips. However, I adored the intensity of that triple smoked salt.

knickerbocker glory

I didn’t quite understand the knickerbocker glory until a couple of bites in. And for something as glorious as this, there is always room for firsts, seconds and thirds…

It begins with caramelised banana and home-made banana ice cream which might I add is the best ice cream I have ever had. Filled with layers of chocolate pieces, cookie crumbs, honey comb pieces and topped off with a burnt caramel crisp. That I’m starting to think knickerbocker glory is sincerely an understatement!

To finish, the affogato with cointreau (made to order) was another simple pleasure with the vanilla ice cream playing a leading role.

affogato

Welcome to Vicinity Dining, for some good wholehearted organic eating.

Vicinity Dining on Urbanspoon

Vicinity Dining

02 9002 1333

90-96 Bourke Road
Alexandria, NSW 2015

vicinitysydney.com.au
on facebook.com

It’s been a year since my last visit and admittedly I was a bit hesitant.

I was brought back by another birthday girl and couldn’t bear to say no. We stopped for a quickie and mysteriously got in during the lunch hour.

Woo… and no lines too!

bread and olive basket

bread basket – complimentary
fat green olives on ice $6.00
Large green olives, black olive tapenade & crispy “music bread”

We were given a complimentary bread  basket while we grazed over the menu. I found that the bread this time round was a vast improvement since my last visit. Crusty and fragrant with a dash of olive oil and herbs.

The green olives were plump and delicious with the olive tapenade positively moorish.

prosciutto, pear and pecorino

It is said that the prosciutto has been hand picked by Jamie Oliver himself all the way in northern Italy. Levoni is rumoured to be dedicated to breeding and cultivating livestock of the highest grade up until its slaughter. With that kind of value proposition I couldn’t very well pass it up, now could I?

The prosciutto came salty, supple and gloriously pink. It’s delicious… yes. But it isn’t the best I have ever had but still… Jamie’s is tasty enough.

The salad was similarly tasty but we were disappointed to be only given 3 slices of pear.

spaghetti bolognese

spaghetti bolognese $12.50
entree size

The spaghetti bolognese was fairly tasty with the pasta al dente and the bolognese rich and meaty. It just had that distinctive tinned tomato aftertaste that made me smack my lips together in question and ask, “Is that aluminimum I taste?”

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One of the things that I love about my job is that everyone at my office, loves food.

My boss is no exception. We regularly talk about food, new places on our hit list and we constantly share recipes and products.

To celebrate our 3 month milestone together, she decided to surprise me at sushi e. If I had I known, I probably would have brought my camera but then it wouldn’t have been much of a surprise. Nonetheless, I still managed to take photos with my iPhone. Given the quality of the my experience here, I couldn’t resist the temptation of putting a post together for you to see.

prawn shumai

prawn shumai $18.5
chinese influenced steamed prawn dumpling with ponzu dipping sauce

Ms G started our order with the prawn shumai, insisting that it was a sushi e must have. I can see why you wouldn’t want to give these dumplings a miss. The prawn fillings were plump and sweet. The wrappers were thin and delicate with the ponzu perfect for dipping.

goma ae

goma ae $13.5
Japanese spinach salad with sesame paste

The spinach was dressed to impress and coated with the most luscious and nutty sesame paste that brought your bland old spinach to something that is worth longing for.

salmon tartare

salmon tartare $25.0
salmon sashimi combined with onion, lemon and mayo then finished with generous serves of salmon roe and cucumber, then dressed with a wasabi ponzu dressing

Chef Nobuyuki Ira said, “the trick to eating this dish is to mix the tartare and roe until it is completely combined. Then use the deep fried wonton wrappers to scoop up the mix”.

Ms G and I gave each other this pained look, as we couldn’t bear the thought of tearing it apart. (I was also concerned that I wouldn’t get my fair share of roe!)

But we did as we were told. We mixed and we scooped.

The result was absolutely mouthwatering, it was outrageous.The explosive pearls, creamy flesh and wonton crisps made us get over our guilt trip, post-haste. Reminding me distinctively of the sashimi taco at Sake Restaurant.

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Notorious for its monstrous line that whirls itself down Goulburn Street and at times, past Dixon street. The sight in itself should be enough to put anyone off Mamak. But the promise of their cheap and cheerful eats is now legendary. It just keeps everyone coming in single file.

I’d like to hit rewind for a moment to when I stumbled across afoodstory. I still remember it to this day. I found their Mamak post on their blog and it left me dying to go. I loved their blog and read it with fond admiration. One of the many blogs that inspired me to start up my very own.

When I met them at a bloggers dinner I was pretty thrilled! I had to confess that in spite of reading their Mamak post, I still hadn’t made it there. So we made a pinky swear that we would go together!

Hit fast forward and here I am sitting with Lex and Dylan and it seems quite surreal, to be sitting here with ‘the’ exact same bloggers that I had read about in that post!

roti canai

Lex is an expert Mamak goer and you can tell. She knows exactly what to order and every single word off the menu rolls off her tongue.

First up, the roti canai. It promises to be fluffy on the inside and crunchy on the outside and it doesn’t disappoint.

chicken satay

The satay sticks is a quintessential must have item. The chicken skewers are juicy, tender and packed with flavour from the marinade and charcoal. The peanut sauce is the right amount of sweet and spicy, I mean… there are just no words. It was so good, I literally ‘ate’ the sauce, with the bowl in one hand and the spoon in the other. Lex, Dyl and Brazil weren’t far behind either.

The only draw back was that we felt short-changed when the chicken sticks arrived. According to Lex and Dyl, they have definitely downsized on their servings since their last visit. Slightly disappointed, we move on and we order another batch.

nasi lemak

After a recent visit to Malaysia and Borneo, I ate this gem morning, noon and night. It is arguably Malaysia’s national breakfast dish but you can find it any time of the day due to its popularity.

I wanted to have the Nasi Lemak with chicken so I could rate the authenticity of flavours and likeness to the dish back in Malaysia and it was absolutely spot on.

drinks

The tea tarik is a wonderful recreation of the popular Malaysian drink. With its signature frothy top, this baby is as authentic as its gets. It is so damn comforting, you can’t but help sigh at every sip.

The milo tea is another typical Malaysian tea and is accurately represented here. The tea is also tasty but I only have eyes for the tea tarik.

roti telur - egg

Roti telur is just as tasty but it doesn’t have the same textural contrasts as the roti canai. The roti encased a fluffy egg filling and it is served with two curry sauces and a spicy sambal sauce. The curry sauces are pleasant enough but all my love heads straight for that little blob of spicy sambal sauce.

rojak

Rojak plays a bit of visual trickery on you. You don’t even know what it is when it comes out. But it is a salad alright.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really tickle anyone’s fancy. I found it overly drenched in the spicy peanut sauce, that it overwhelmed the other elements of the dish.

ayam berempah

Ayam berempah is like Malaysian KFC with the added flavours of star anise, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves infused into the skin. The chicken skin was nice and crispy with the resounding crunch to every bite. But KFC will always be my first true love. No contest.

cendol 1

cendol 2

This is a very typical asian dessert with the jelly like morsels swimming in a soupy syrup/milk with shaved ice on top. I wholeheartedly enjoyed this dessert but I think you may need an asian palate to truly appreciate this.

roti kaya

Brazil had his heart firmly set on the sweet roti. The sweet buttery roti was filled with a pandan and coconut spread, showcasing the roti’s versatility. Again, the roti did not disappoint and this was hands down the crowd favourite.

Welcome to Mamak, for some cheap, cheerful and authentic Malaysian that’s worth the line and the wait.

Mamak on Urbanspoon

Mamak

02 9211 1668

15 Goulburn St
Haymarket, NSW

Self proclaimed as the first and only authentic Mexican to hit Sydney. You kind of owe it to yourself to make your way to Gladesville to check out those odds.

Dos Senoritas promises you street style food from the likes of Guadalajara, Mexico in bountiful proportions. Packed to rim every night, its best to book ahead.

Alive with bright blue walls, sombreros, pinatas and ponchos, the place screams AYE YAI YAI! That you just can’t help but tap into your inner Me-hi-carn-no. No?

Upon arrival, we were given a stash of fresh tortilla chips to help us glaze over the menu.

The chips are easily the best tortilla chips I’ve ever tasted. They’re free too and free always tastes good.

They’re fresh, oily, corny and crunchy. And the salsa, is pretty damn good too with an added spice for kick.

supergooeycheeseychimichanga

Brace yourselves for the supergooeycheesychimichanga. (All one word).

This baby came at the size of my arm and is an onslaught of massive chunks of pork chile verde, jack and cheddar cheese. This was all tucked neatly inside a deep fried flour tortilla parcel.

THEN covered with (yes… and there’s more) jalapeno cream cheese, which is just out of this freaking universe and a second helping of jack cheddar cheese.

There is also an additional side of rice for extra carbs and a side salad to psychologically make you feel better. At least, it seemed to for me.

This ‘thing’ was so massive, I hat to eat it in three sittings.

Once at dinner.

Again, while watching Revenge at 2am in the morning and for the freaking finale – brunch time. Boo yeah.

tacos

Chef Domingo Medina is committed to bringing you street style tacos from his local streets of Guadalajara, Mexico.

You can choose 3 out of the 5 options for 25 beans and you’re guaranteed that anything you choose is going to be a ripper. Everything is packed with fresh vibrant mexican flavours, you simply can’t go wrong. It was so fresh it kind of tasted… healthy.

margaritas

A delicious salty tequila haven to keep you going.

steak

The gringo philly steak came out nice and juicy served with a spicy cheese sauce, jack and cheddar cheese. Oh GOD! When will this food high ever end?

Again, it came with the delicious side of rice and salad. Who knew that rice and salad could taste this good?

Welcome to Dos Senoritas, for the one and only bonafide Mexican food in massive proportions.

Dos Senoritas on Urbanspoon

Dos Senoritas

02 9817 3737

265 Victoria Rd
Gladesville, NSW

dossenoritas.com.au

One of the things that a lot of people don’t know when they hit London is that can get a Michelin star rated meal at a ridiculously reduced price. Great if you’re on a budget, after a working lunch or just looking to give it a bit of a whirl.

At Murano you can opt for the 2 courses for £25 or 3 courses for £30. And most places will do this lunch special, you just have to hunt them down.

Google “michelin set lunch menu London”, and you should find some. Take Dinner by Heston Blumenthal for starters.

But its best to see their set lunch menu before you go in.

coppa di parma & salami

Most Londoners will know Murano by Angela Hartnett as being co-owned with Gordon Ramsey. But since 2010 they have gone their separate ways.

Angela Hartnett in her own right, has had a formidable career and is best known for her appearances on Hell’s Kitchen as well as, Gordon Ramsey’s protege.

bread platter

We began with a generous serving of coppa di parma and salami platter and the bread platter. This was enough to get our tongues wagging. We managed to hoe into that pretty free and easy and couldn’t help but being a pig about it, so we ordered another bread platter to polish off.

peaches, burrata, prosciutto

The salad of peaches, burrata and San Daniele prosciutto is worth giving up your first born for.

Tough luck kid.

The peach was perfect, incredibly ripe and fresh. The peach paired well with the sweet saltiness of the prosciutto and the creaminess of the burrata. The prosciutto was of the highest grade and was so thinly sliced that it gently melted away in your mouth.

tortelli

I found the tortelli didn’t quite have the same impact. I found the pasta a touch too thick. I also found the pasta slightly dry and needed a touch of creaminess to lift the subtlety of the tortelli filling.

mackerel

I’m not normally one to order fish. I normally have this misconception that there is no such thing as a good fish dish. But today, I was in the mood for something light, something fishy.

After all, I had eaten my weight through London, so something had to give.

The cornish mackerel turned out to be another gorgeous dish. It was prepared two ways, roasted and tartare with the mackerel tartare being the real winner. The hints of apple provided a zesty lift and added crunch.

lamb rump

The lamb was perfectly pink (medium rare) and wonderfully tender. Served again with tthe pea puree which was a delicious accompaniment. However, it just needed more sauce. The only thing I didn’t like about this dish was the anchovy pieces which was a bit slimey. But that’s ok. You can just push that to the side.

prosecco mousse, strawberries

Striking as this dish is, looks can be deceiving. I thought this dish was so beautiful but I found it rather one dimensional and uncomplimentary in its flavours.

tart

The unsung hero.

The gooseberry and frangipani tart was absolutely warm and comforting, something you yearn for, on a cold winters night. I loved the honey ice cream and how it brought contrast to the hot and cold temperatures.

chocolate ganache crumble

Brazil doesn’t really eat fruit, so he requested this dish to be kindly substituted in exchange for a dessert from the set menu. Sis and I gobbled up the most passionfruit sorbet (not photographed) with no complaints and managed to steal a piece or two, (ok maybe three) of the chocolate ganache crumble. Just delicious.

Welcome to Murano by Angela Hartnett, a michelin meal thats a steal.

Murano on Urbanspoon

About a year ago, my sister and I were invited to sample the menu at Apsleys at the Lansborough Hotel in Hyde Park Corner, London.

This would be the most overwhelming, heart stopping and mind blowing experience of my life and is also known to house Michelle Obama’s favourite dish –  Carbonara Fagottelli. Where a pillow of pasta quizzically encapsulates a carbonara filling. You place it in your mouth, push your tongue to the roof of your mouth and let the fluid centre combust. It is unforgettable. (See post here).

Executive and Sous Chef Massimiliano Blasone and Marco Calenzo are responsible for this dish and have since moved on from Apsleys and now head up Cassis Bistro in South Kensington, rubbing a michelin star quality to the restaurant menu.

To celebrate their new venture, we were invited back as guests to sample a specially created tasting menu across their al la carte range.

brioche

We began with a foie gras terrine marinated in provencale wine served with a toasty and buttery brioche. The foie gras is almost as thick as the brioche, so I just slithered a little foie gras and ate the rest on its own LOL, I wanted it all to myself!

The addition of slow cooked peach and “terra”, a cocoa butter crumble were interesting condiments but I was more than happy with foie gras alone.

caramalised foie gras

This fresh piece of foie gras was absolutely mouth watering. Prepared like a creme brulee and blasted with a sugary coating before service. It paired wonderfully with the rhubarb marmalade cutting straight through the fat and lifted the foie gras with a wonderful sweet intensity.

sea bass tartare

The sea bass tartare with sesame wafer was absolutely delicious. The tartare was sliced and diced to teeny tiny perfection and immaculately coated with a gorgeous cream sauce all nursed in between two crumbly thin wafer slices.

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La Porte De Indes is not like your typical Indian restaurants. It’s Indian with a twist and it showcases food from the Pondicherry region, a former French colony. So you can imagine how this place piqued my interest at the promise of an overlap between French and Indian cuisine.

First up, I couldn’t resist the temptation of tandoori seared foie gras. The wondrous slab of foie gras came accompanied with naan bread, fig and ginger chutney. This was beautifully rich and was perfectly juxtaposed with the sweetness of the chutney.

foie gras

Foie Gras – £13.00: Tandoori seared, served on a crisp honey naan bread with a fig and ginger chutney.

The scallops were fresh, juicy and plum and were left in a pool of garlic and saffron sauce which I found very buttery and creamy.

scallops

Demoiselles de Pondichéry – £12.00: Large juicy grilled king scallops with a hint of garlic in a mild saffron sauce.

One thing that La Portes De Indes is famous for, is for their tandoori grill. The lamb chops were marinated in yoghurt, brown onions and garam marsala and served with a delicious mint chutney. These are so delicious it’s best to just unleash your animal instincts and gnaw them until they are bone dry.

lamb chops

Barra Lamb Chops – £19.00: lamb marinated with browned onions, yoghurt and garam masala; char grilled to perfection, served with mint chutney.

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Second stop. Dinner by Heston.

Dinner was the most highly anticipated restaurant opening in 2011, receiving about 6,000 calls a day for restaurant reservations alone. eBay saw restaurant bookings auctioned off at the £50 mark. It even pipped its very own mothership, The Fat Duck (#13) and entered the San Pellingrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2012 coming in at 9th place.

The inspiration behind Dinner takes us back to Heston’s TV series, Heston’s feasts – (watch online) where he took a step back in time to resuscitate the long lost archives of British gastronomy. Each menu on the item references the period in British history as well as, the cookbook where it draws its inspiration from.

bread

complimentary bread

Here you have the meat fruit (c.1500) which was commonplace during the Tudor dynasty. It is quite the mutli-sensory experience and a true testament to Heston’s indisputable genius. It is a chicken liver parfait in the guise of a mandarin fruit and it is made with a mandarin glucose jelly to reach its carbon copy exterior.

The appearance is flawless, texture is velvety and the taste? Absolutely mind blowing.

You can watch how he makes it here.

meat fruit

Meat Fruit (c.1500) Mandarin, chicken liver parfait & grilled bread
£15.00 – must have item

meat fruit 2

The roast marrowbone (c.1720) again, is visually deceiving. Whilst served to resemble that of a marrowbone, you need to scoop out to reveal the wonderfully buttery little snails lurking on the inside. Surprisingly the anchovy lifts the butter and elevates the whole escargot experience. The pickled vegetables were not nearly as exciting but visually complemented the dish well.

roast marrowbone

Roast Marrowbone (c.1720) Snails, parsley, anchovy & mace, pickled vegetables
£15.50

Like all meat served at Dinner, the Fillet of Aberdeen Angus (c.1830) was prepared sous vide and finished off in the purpose built hearth to give it its smokey and charred coat.

With a perfectly pink centre, the beef was juicy and tender. It was served with a jus and mushroom ketchup and traditionally this is also served with a side of triple cooked chips. However, I was disappointed to learn that they were not serving the triple cooked chips due to not having the particular potatoes in season.

This is particularly heart breaking knowing how far we’ve come and with the knowledge of how arduous it is to even make triple cooked chips!

rib eye

Fillet of Aberdeen Angus (c.1830) Mushroom ketchup & chips
£38.00

triple cooked chips

The Black Foot Pork Chop (c.1860) was served with a pink centre and was another excellent main. This is served with cabbage, tender ham hock pieces, puffed pork scratchings and finished with a delicious Robert sauce which is historically served to the likes of Henry IV!

black food pork chop

Black Foot Pork Chop (c.1860) Hispi cabbage, lardo, ham hock & Robert sauce
£30.00

The tipsy cake (c.1810) is the second quintessential item you must have on this menu.

The brioche turned cake is drenched in copious amounts of alcohol, butter and cream. (Which is enough to make your heart turn). The glorious goo finds its way around each brioche segment and knows exactly how to disintegrate, melt and implode on you.

It just stops you in your tracks and is absolutely heart breaking.

Just wow.

The pineapple piece is coated and spit roasted in sugar syrup for 2 hours and while tasty, it’s the brioche that’s the real show stopper.

tipsy cake

Tipsy Cake (c.1810) Spit roast pineapple
£12.00

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