I have never forgotten this blog and I have now moved on to something else.
Please check it out, ciel illimite .
See you there :-)
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
at 11:09 PM
It has been a rather long time since I last posted an entry. I still have my gormand Vue de Monde post saved as draft. I don't think I'd ever go around to posting it despite offered a tour at Bennett's kitchen :-)
Anyway, on to training. I am still lazy and not terribly motivated to go to the gym these days. I've stopped doing cardio on my own and only rely on cardio classes like Attack and Combat. Having said that, I try to get away from cardio if I can even if it means to sneak into second half of an Attack class :-)
It would be about 10 days now that I have not lifted a single ounce of weights... except if you'd consider walking a form of lifting my own body weight... bah! So I did the following tonight;
1. Half an aerobics/ Attack class;
2. Pull ups 9, 8, 7 - disappointing I know!
3. Hence 2 sets of latpull 50kgs 10 reps each!
4. Tricep push ups on medicine ball and dumbbells 5 x 12
5. Modified hi-rows - Hammer strength - only 20kgs - 3 x 10
6. Shoulder rotatory cuff thingymagee.
The weather is reminding me that summer is just around the corner, hold that thought! It's actually a rather wet week this week, bah! Ahh I can't see myself going to the gym much later in the week but I shall try............ It's at least not upsetting of late as my strength has not deteriorate and I can still lift my body weight though I wish I was doing a bit more cardio.
I shall refrain from 'ranting' on my blog... but I really find it disturbing when my dead bird gets mistreated/ mishandled by people... anyone generally except for myself and people I'm close with/ people whom I vest some trust in ha ha... Beautiful dead bird. I need a beautiful reptile.... now on to daydreaming at work :-)
Saturday, September 25, 2010
at 3:51 PM
'Souffle' and the Dome
I'm not sure if it was technically a souffle, it seemed more like a chocolate fondant. I love Max Brenner only because they have a wider variety of chocolate desserts if compared to Koko Black. The Dome was pretty good though I had quite a hard time trying to figure out what was the dessert I like best at Max Brenner. I ended up not remembering it, not even till this day. I have not had my favourite for months! Nevertheless, the 2 chocolate desserts were still satisfying, a bit rich for some but it's so easy for me to swallow rich and sweet treats ha ha.
I shall miss my lazy days strolling at Melbourne Central during the week ha ha.
at 3:45 PM
Blood orange sorbet
Koko Black is always a frequent stop for me, wherever I go, whether Bourke Street Mall or Chadstone. I would always order a take-away before I start strolling/ shopping ha ha. I love blood orange, and it's always an ultra treat to see it on dessert menus. This particular sorbet was amazing! It had the bang of citrus'y flavour which I find is always quenching.
I love eating Nando's chicken paella as opposed to the roast these days especially when I've been eating loads of carbs for the past few months. Eating lots and lots of carbs sure work for me. I used to end up binging on snacks/ junkfood before when I restricted my carbohydrate intake too much. I would happily eat at least 2-3 bowls of rice for dinner these days. A serve of paella is an example of how much rice I would eat during dinner ha ha.
This paella, obviously is not how the Spanish cooked traditionally. Having said that, I wouldn't have a clue what a traditional Portuguese paella is if it is even one of their cuisine dishes... On another note, I always enjoy eating this dish, with more drizzles of Tabasco.
Char shu ramen at Ramen Ya
Thanh told me that this ramen place does one of the better ramens in Melbourne. It was yum indeed and fortunately the char shu was really lean on the day I went for lunch. It truly was yum though the sight of the lard on soup surface was quite disturbing... ha ha.
Friday, September 3, 2010
at 10:33 AM
An extremely bad thing has happened to me since the day I bought ONE kilogram of brownies from Dello Mano. Not only have I eaten about 9 blocks (50g each) of those brownies in merely 6 days, I have also been eating so much other junk. I too have just finished half a pack of Cadbury Favourites ... The brownies were not cheap, as I did end up spending $85 (with 15% discount) for chocolate brownies. They were great though!
Cadbury Favourites - easily accessible and just this week, half price at Coles!
I finished all of the Time out and Cadbury Milk in a go, a couple of Boost, Caramello, Picnic pieces each. I also did eat a piece of Koko Black for Florentino, saffron just before. I've been meaning to take a picture of those chocolates but obviously did not get to snap pictures before my gluttony calls. Glutton Lingy.
It has been quite a while that I have had breakfast in the morning. I had scrambled eggs and Huon's smoked salmon (bought from Taste with a few dollars discount) just yesterday. It was even better today, to have woken up to scones hot off the oven. My godmom made these, she even made strawberry jam and whipped some cream to dollop on the scones.
I am now officially a fatty. My diet diary of today consisted of;
- Scones with jam and cream;
- Dello Mano gluten free Belgian chocolate brownie;
- Thai chicken curry with LOTS of rice;
- A piece of Koko Black chocolate for Florentino - saffron;
- 14 pieces of Cadbury Favourites.
- Half of a huge Laurent brioche; and
- Rice + Nando's chicken with lots of freshly cut chillis (etc).
Bad bad bad!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
at 5:21 PM
This is my second Taste event in two consecutive years. I think I enjoyed trying out foods from last year's exhibits compared to this year's. However, it was nonetheless still enjoyable as there were more produce stands this year.
Haha I couldn't have done it more excessively, I went to this year's Event twice over two consecutive days. I managed to eat quite a lot during my first day, though only one bite off each plate, and was so full from about 1'ish pm until 10'ish pm. Gluttony was written all over my face as I only wanted more and more, perhaps I couldn't have eaten more after my very last dish, the Bombe and I actually had to force myself eating it as it got to the point whereby I was extremely full haha. Mind you, the Bombe was indeed the Bomb that everyone or many foodies have raved about at this year's Taste.
Entrance to the Event and Stokehouse restaurant stand.
Stokehouse Restaurant - Wagyu beef cigars, artichoke tapenade and horseradish
If anyone questions about mass-produced food, this is the time and place to confirm with your doubts. I've heard of things like, chefs do not have much kitchen space to work on their food during this Event and that they are all pre-made and possibly reheated just before serving. Hence, one cannot possibly judge the quality of food in detail but could somewhat just express likes/ dislikes very roughly.
Anyway, the wagyu cigars I had on the first day I found a bit dry. It was another story on the second day I went, the wagyu cigar was not dry and it was indeed very flavoursome. It was definitely one of the dishes not to be missed from this Event. I loved it! I would go to Stokehouse Restaurant just for this dish and its dessert, the Bombe!
Mezzo Bar and Grill - Organic slow braised pork cheek, white polenta, raisins and marsala sauce
Maze Restaurant and Maze Grill - Seared Hopkins River Beef, shitake and aged soy dressing
I wasn't a big fan of the pork cheek and I found that it was a bit tough and dry though I have read otherwise from another food blogger who went on Thursday night. I didn't like the beef dish from Maze too.
The European - Duck tortelloni with pea puree and truffle oil
I honestly belief (and can only hope) that the Restaurant would have been able to execute this dish perfectly at their Restaurant. I had it on the Friday, I found that the pasta was undercooked, though I didn't mind how the duck tasted it still was a let down for me. I love pastas especially if drizzled/ seasoned with some truffle oil.
The Palace by Luke Mangan - The Palace wagyu burger
This was another dish that everyone raved about. I had a small bite on Friday, and got a whole burger for myself on Saturday haha. It was good though come to think of it now, I wouldn't want to pay $10/ 10 crowns for this dish even at a gourmet cafe. Jones the Grocer sells their wagyu burger for only $15 (lesser, can't remember how much exactly) and I'm pretty sure same goes with Cafe Vue. You'd think that it is not difficult to execute this dish especially at an event like this one, but I still thought that it was a bit dry and a sauce was missing. Perhaps also, they did not lightly grill the buns with some butter :-b Having said some of the negatives, I found that the beetroot was indeed refreshing and it did break out some of the richness which you would have otherwise found in many other types of beef burgers. At the end of the day, I still liked this dish :-)
The Palace by Luke Mangan - Eye fillet (Hopkins River), potato mash, sauce Bordelaise
I would have to say that this was one of the very few winning dishes for me, at the Event. This was the reason why we were convinced to buy a whole Hopkins River beef pack for $135! It was also meant to have come with the recipe for this dish, but we were instead given Maze's recipe, which I forcefully took just in case if the recipe for The Palace did not come through! PFFT! Besides that I also need to prove to myself that I could make a better beef wellington compared to the one I made previously. Hence the huge log of eye fillet... *rolling eyes* It has been frozen by the way ha ha!
Comida Bebe -Baby chorizo (glazed in cider, served on a skewer with candied and fresh apple and topped with an apple toffee sauce)
Comida Bebe - Paella Fiesta (traditional rustic chicken and squid ink/ calamari)
I love the paella even though I hardly found any chicken in it, there were still a few pieces of prawns if you looked hard enough. It was not bad but I wouldn't say it's the best I've ever had. I love the chorizo and especially the candied apple that went with it.
Taste ground floor - Taste; Gallery level - Longrain restaurant
Longrain - Yellow curry of wagyu beef with cucumber relish
I personally love Longrain though quietly wish that the Restaurant is not as busy and Noisy! TI thought that the dish was OK but I've had better dishes at his Restaurant in Melbourne. Thanh has recently had the privilege to speak to the Chef behind the masterworks of Longrain.
I also shared the roasted pork bun roll with Thanh, which you can find on Thanh's Blog. It was actually not bad, the pork was tender and there was crackle.
Toby's Estate coffee
So... I love the beans of this coffee and went to get free seconds and thirds! Eventually, I could not kid them no more, I bought a Keep-A-Cup so I'd get a free coffee refill and also a bag of their ground coffees.
Sarti - Pistachio pannacotta and caramel salted popcorn
This was so yum! It was a bit creamier the second time I had it but I still loved it! I believe that they used real vanilla beans, it was just flavoursome! Of course, there were hints of pistachio too. The toffee popcorn was quite the carnival, I dropped it the first time I bought it and they were kind enough to give me another cluster of popcorn :-) The waitstaff at the stand however, did not think it was funny that the pannacotta is that good that I went for seconds on the next day. I did not even get a smile off him :-b
Stokehouse - The Bombe - strawberry sorbet, white chocolate parfait and toasted meringue
This was really yum. I had it on my first day, the very last dish I saved for had to be the Bombe though I was quite over it by the time I got to this dish. I was so full despite having only small bites (did take a few sporkfull of paella however) off every dish. The parfait, was amazing, it was SO light! I love the toasted meringue but I'm still contemplating in getting a blow torch, I'm afraid I may just torch up the home. The strawberry coulis was yum, I'm sure it did contain quite a bit of sugar!!! Come to think of it, I can't remember if there was any sorbet in the dish?! Definitely a winner dish!
The European - Wild rabbit sausage roll with tomato kassundi
Sausage roll is my comfort food like how Australians love their beef pies? This roll with rabbit gives it a way better spin, a gourmet spin. I loved it, whether with or without the tomato kassundi which I found was quite similar to a salsa. Oh yes the off-white couch at the VIP lounge.
Sandwich ice-cream - The Classic
Charcoal Lane - Wallaby tataki, ginger soy, horseradish
I've heard of quirky food that flows out of Charcoal Lane kitchen, salmon with licorice. Don't ask me, it wasn't me who had it. Anyway, this wallaby tataki was amazingly delicious! It was tender though it tasted a bit over-seasoned for me. Still loved it at the end of the day.
I think the wallaby was one of the last dishes I had. It was nearing 4pm on the Saturday and Thanh went to get some Ben and Jerry's, chocolate fudge and something else for only 2 crowns! There were 2 massive scoops in a tiny cup, it was good but I had too much and only ate a few spoonfuls of it.
I bought some tea from Tea Blossoms. I paid $28 for a dozen tea packs in a beautiful packaged box. I wasn't impressed with the first tea I popped into my teapot as it did not appear to be as pretty as the one I saw at the Event :-b ha ha. It still tasted pretty good, and I do love tea.
Della Mano chocolate brownies!
Hah, this would have to be the highlight of my whole experience at Taste in both consecutive years. I only bought a pack of 6 blocks (50g each) for $30 last year but I spent about $85 on these babies this year. $85 bought me ONE kilogram (with approx. 15% discount for being a loyal customer) of brownies with flavours; gluten free Belgian choc, lime and coconut, espresso and walnut, honey caramelised macadamia, the classic and ginger! I only gave two pieces away, kept 18 all for my greedy self :-) In just 6 days, I have also eaten 9 blocks of it! Ahhh my name also spells GLUTTON.
My favourites would have to be the espresso and walnut, honey macadamia, gluten free, the classic. Personally, I don't like ginger, but this ginger brownie is not that bad and I'd still eat it. I'm growing to like the lime/ coconut which I find quite refreshing.
Other buys included - the big lamb pack feast, some smoked salmon, Movenpick ice cream, Careme rolled out pastries, Nando sauces, about 200ml of truffle oil (for only $20), etc! Dang, the only thing that I did not buy was chocolates! Oh a sin!
ps - I realise that I have been using love/ loved interchangeably and that I can't even tell at this point of time whether if I still love, or just loved those dishes. ha ha.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
at 5:37 PM
This was another birthday treat which I was fortunate enough to go to without having to pay a cent (wahurhurhur). Just as well, I made reservations for a table 3 months in advanced which meant that I was lucky to have been able to secure a table for the whole night. Again, it was extremely busy similarly to the last time (my previous post) I went with Thanh (I Eat Blog post). Alternatively, you could make reservations closer to the preferred date but you risk a chance of not having the table for the whole evening, like what I encountered before in my previous visit.
We always have issues with deciding on what to eat. Again, I feel like I was spoilt for choice. It was however slightly different on this occasion. I was going to go for either the full degustation menu or ala carte (with selection of shared entrees). Both the menus contained a dish I did not want and wanted to substituted with something else. It appeared to be more difficult to vary the full degustation menu and hence we went with the second option BUT with an additional course, being the crab/ abalone/ ginger soup (which was to die for as I had it previously). Again, I have to stress that, I do NOT like ginger. Having said that, I've grown to accept the slight hints/ notes of ginger in food for example chocolate brownie (of Dello Mano), a dish I had a Vue de Monde recently and obviously, this lovely broth at Cutler & Co.
Pumpkin seeds and cheese crackers.
The pumpkin seeds were good and looked like a rather healthy alternative snack if compared to other tidbits. The cheese crackers were not bad though I preferred the calamari crackers (from previous visit) because it was more flavoursome. I did grow up eating fish crackers as a kid before and have had a liking for flavoured crackers, including prawn flavoured ones.
The Rusty Wire and Claire de Lune
So we ordered the selection of entrees with an additional course. It wasn't until two minutes later that it got me thinking that 'hey does it come with oysters?!'. I didn't remember seeing it on the menu. Hence I spent the next few (many) minutes trying to catch a waitstaff's attention. Ordered it then, and it took them quite a while to shuck half a dozen oysters. Just as well I ordered only two types each. The Claire de Lune was smoother though quite rustic I found. Comparing it to the Rusty Wire (I think that was what it was called), I preferred the Rusty Wire. The Rusty Wire had more rustic end-notes, which I love about oysters.
Cured kingfish with some avruga caviar
I am not sure, whether to be pleased that the day cheaper caviar was made more available to everyone or whether it has been quite a cliche to see it on dishes so often. It's quite the toss up but I still enjoy seeing some caviar, whether avruga or Sevruga. I enjoyed eating this dish as much as I did during the very first time I had it. I believe that there was a balance of flavours and textures in this dish. It was light and refreshing.
Spanner crab and abalone soup
Even though I could see tiny slices of ginger swimming in the broth, I still kept an open mind thinking to myself 'surely, Andrew McConnell would know not to over-use ginger in a soup dish'. I cringe at the sight of ginger, whether at the market or in my dishes. Chinese home-cooking does use a lot of ginger and it is often 'over-powering' (so I find because I dislike it), but I've grown to quite like it especially if the taste of ginger does not over-power or not used excessively. Again, there were a couple pieces of baby abalone, cooked to perfection, tender and not dry. The spanner crab was beautiful and the frozen corn was interesting even after the second time I had it. It was interesting as a combination and quite eventful to have enjoyed the dish for the second time :-)
Notwithstanding the first time I had this dish, I was very fond of it. It was somewhat a bit different this time, as the serving was bigger (as shared by a few people) and the carrots were cut pretty chunky! Chunky is not appealing especially in finer dishes, the mind sees and responses to the sight of the chunkiness... However, having kept an objective mind on this dish, especially I've had a good version of it, I found that there still was something missing in this dish. The very first time I had it, the balance of the dish was perfect especially with the flavours. I found that the sour notes were stronger this time around and would have preferred if there was a balance with the sweet and slight bitter notes. Basically, the sourness was over-powering and could have been better. I understand it is not easy to maintain consistencies at restaurants though surely being named the Restaurant of the Year meant something?
Mandarin Duck (crisped leg and smoked fillet) with some Black thingy (duck liver pate) and beautifully cooked octopus and chorizo on crisp bread
The Mandarin Duck was beautiful even for the second time around. The element I call the 'Black thingy' was a pate of something, mixed with perhaps little foie gras. I had it in a cigar form previously. I love the crisp bread and the lot, I can't recall the last time I've had octopus that was so tender and delicious.
I'm not sure if the crisp bread was served to us as they were finding it hard to coordinate the cooking time for our mains as we did wait for 40'ish minutes though our waitstaff corrected us and said 35 minutes.
The wagyu (?) and ocean trout dishes
I've had the wagyu dish before and it was beautiful though I thought that it needed a bit of tang to break its richness. It's funny that we found some hidden bones in the trout, we understand that there can be hidden bones in ocean trouts like salmon (it wasn't until the very end of the last 2 bites). The Restaurant did gracefully deduct the price of the fish dish off our bill.
The suckling pig
I have to admit that the suckling pig was delicious, it was tender and the skin did crackle! Somehow I have better memories (in terms of quality) of this dish I had at Cutler & Co rather than at Cumulus Inc late last year. I loved the minced pork on the top left though I wished that there was more apple sauce on the dish. It felt like it needed more tang to break the richness of the dish. The pearled barleys were good, but I felt like it would have been a better experience for me if I had more apple sauce to go with it. By this stage, I couldn't be bothered to have asked for more apple sauce seeing how busy the Restaurant was.
The violet ice cream
What can I say? Still yum, the second time around :-)
Petit fours that went with our coffees. I think it was a dark chocolate ganache and passionfruit flavoured piece of chocolate and a fruity poached rhubarb with some sorbet.
The food was still very good the second time I went, in about a month. I doubt its consistency though I have to admit quality control is especially not easy at busy restaurants. The food was still very good and I only have a couple of slight criticisms. However, waiting for about 35-40 minutes for our mains was quite long. The staff was apologetic. I still love the food though rather go somewhere else with equally good food and less busier/ less hustle and bustle.