Monday, July 29, 2013

Thai Lemongrass, Darlinghurst

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Fish Cakes

Our latest group buy voucher lands us at Thai Lemongrass, a cozy little Thai restaurant on a quiet street in Darlinghurst. The restaurant is anything but quiet on a normal weekday night, though we notice most customers are coming with vouchers too, which makes us wonder (as we often do with these deals) how on earth they make a profit by selling so many vouchers.

We've got a bigger problem ourselves, that is of choosing one entree and main each from the menu- there's just too many things we'd love to try! We start with a serving of fish cakes which are rather spicy for me, though i don't really take spice too well! I must say, they are rather tasty though.

Duck larb

The Duck larb sounds interesting and different so we order that also and find out that it's rather much like sang choi bow, only with a much tinnier lettuce leaf and (arguably) tastier meat filling flavoured with plenty of aromatic herbs. We love its presentation, though the size of the lettuce leaf means that it is quite difficult to eat.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mango Mousse Cake

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IMG_2809

I've had my fair share of cake failures in the past. None more so than the first chocolate cake I ever made, but my first mango mousse failure also falls into close competition and is one I'm unlikely to forget anytime soon- afterall, it was the failure which inspired me to start this blog!

I'd decided to make a mango mirror mousse cake, not unlike the one in this post (although in my head, I'd imagined the finished product to be a little fancier)- this was back in the days before I started this blog, when my baking experience was limited to a handful of simple cakes and cookies. It was yet another one of my perhaps too ambitious baking projects especially considering the amount of interest, knowledge and experience I'd had with cakes, but hey, what's the fun if it's too easy right?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cha Cha Dumpling Train

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I'm quite a fan of fun food, so where there's new and creative gimmicks and I won't hesitate to give it a try!

That's how we end up at Cha Cha Dumpling Train - just like a sushi train, but with steamers of dumplings and buns rather than sushi- and it's 'opening special' of $3.50 per dish made it rather attractive too!

We arrive early as the yum cha train is rather small, seating about 20 people in total on the train, and we notice the place fills up quite quickly! The train is quite empty at first but the dishes fill up quickly as more customers start sitting down.

Scallop and Chive Dumplings

The steamers are labelled on their lids so you don't have to open each of them to figure out what they are. We're a bit disappointed that there are only a total of 5 different offerings in the steamers on the train- 3 types of dumplings (scallops, prawns and vegetarian) and 2 types of buns (pork or vegetarian), even though the sign at the front of the shop shows a lot more steamed options!

We go for the scallop dumplings first, and realise the dumplings are unlike the any of the varieties of dumplings you'll get from yum cha restaurants. These have a tasty scallop and chive filling, though the soft, gow-gee like wrapper reminds us rather much of our own home-made dumplings!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hainanese Chicken Rice

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In attempt to improve start building up some cooking skills, I went to my bookshelf inspiration and found this Hainanese Chicken recipe, along with many other much more ambitious projects which I've yet to start even thinking about collecting ingredients for. I actually thought that this was quite ambitious itself, until I realised how dead simple it was to boil a chicken and mix up three sauces to serve it with. And don't let the picture fool you- the chicken was so much more smooth and tender than it looks! The only challenge really was to chop it up into nice presentable pieces (of which I had no clue how to do so!).

The rice is amazingly tasty too, though you might not want to let people know that it tastes so great because of the amount of chicken fat in it! ;)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Orient Hotel, The Rocks

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The Orient Hotel was probably not the best option for a family dinner, being situated above a (quite noisy) bar, but I couldn't resist buying a voucher for a 3 course meal as it was quite cheap at $99 for four. Luckily, the soundproofing in the restaurant was done pretty well, so despite the large party just outside the restaurant, we managed to enjoy a relatively peaceful meal!

Crumbed lamb’s brains, speck, sauce gribiche

I rarely ever eat Modern Australian, so I wanted to try pretty much everything on the menu, but ended up deciding on the lamb's brains as I'd never tried them before. Their soft squishy texture was quite similar (to me at least!) to tofu, and they were cooked beautifully with a golden crispy crumbed exterior. The small pork cubes were also deep fried until incredibly crispy and were amazingly addictive, although it didn't feel all too healthy as there were a lot more pork fat cubes than meat ones!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Black Sesame Ice Cream

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Another week. Another ice-cream recipe. Yep- I'm in an ice cream stage at the moment!

Winter is my type of ice cream weather- I like snuggle up in layers of thick clothing before slowly making my way through ice cream, unlike in summer where you have to sorta race your way through before the whole thing melts into a puddle of custard. There's the downside of having your body freezing from inside to out, but I guess that's also part of the fun!

I've been wanting to make ice cream throughout my exam period, as I took a food science subject this semester (yay!) and though it was much less interesting than I'd anticipated, there was one lecture which I did enjoy in which we learnt all about ice cream! Well not exactly, but we did learn about the roles of different components in ice cream on the textures and flavours of the finished product, and if there was one thing I actually bothered learning this whole semester, it was that!


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hana Hana, Haymarket

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I'll have to admit, the only reason I wanted to visit Hana Hana was to play with the touchscreens.

Nevermind the fact that I use touchscreens to place order everyday at work. Or the fact that I've been to countless restaurants with touchscreens before. Or that the touchscreen ordering was only about 10 seconds of the whole dining experience.

Ontama bukkake $4.90
But it was so worth it!

I've always loved the whole self-serve system at Menya Mappen, but the addition of touchscreens at Hana Hana just make things so much more fun! The food isn't amazing, but it's good and the fun definitely makes up for the lack of amazingness ;) Noodle and rice dishes are cheap (and sized accordingly) and tasty, and there's plenty of delicious add on side dishes to customise your meal with.

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